In the Plant: Meet the Brewers

Simple to say that our brewers make some awesome beer. But you know what we really like about them? They come from great, unpretentious backgrounds in brewing. There’s a lot to be said for their passion for the creative process and turning out excellent beer day after day. Without further ado…

Joe Hinman. Head Brewer/Plant Manager.
Joe, affectionately known to many as Carlos, began home brewing 3 years ago. He’s been brewing professionally since June 2011–when Greenbush opened. How’d that happen? Luck and Jill Sites. He met Scott through Jill, was hired as an intern, and a short couple days later, was hired full time.

Least favorite beer to brew: It used to be Retribution but it’s not so bad anymore. We were blending 25 lb. of raisins and dates in one (non-commercial) blender… But now we have an industrial stick blender that does the work much more efficiently.

Favorite beer to brew: I like doing small batches because they’re new and stuff–working with different ingredients is cool.

Least favorite thing about brewing: Shoveling grain out of the mash tun. [Ed's note: Carlos often dreams of a self-shoveling mash tun like the one at Haymarket Pub & Brewery (see above).]

Favorite thing about brewing: Getting to make new beers and be creative. It’s cool to see your beers on tap places.

Pete Hasbrouck (left). Brewer.
Pete, as you may know from a previous blog post, came over to Greenbush by way of working as the sous chef at Soe Cafe in Sawyer. He’s been home brewing for 5 years now and at Greenbush since December 2011. His continuing stint at Greenbush began as a patron, during which time he made friends with the brewers. Pete asked if he could check out the brewing space and they invited him to come in and work as he wanted to and could–for free/beer. He started brewing pretty much full time earlier this summer.

Least favorite beer to brew: We just brewed a fresh-hop beer. The wort tastes pretty great, but it was… tricky trying to clean the kettle.

Favorite beer to brew: Loud Mouth Soup or Retribution. It’s fun zesting and juicing the blood oranges and toasting spices in Loud Mouth and getting to work with dates and raisins in Retribution.

Least favorite thing about brewing: Cleaning out the kettle. Or mash tun. It’s about 50/50.

Favorite thing about brewing: I love that it’s a craft that people appreciate. And that it’s so hands-on.

Justin Baney. Sales Director/Brewer/Bartender.
Justin Baney has been professionally brewing for approximately 3 months. He became a brewer out of necessity, in that we needed more hands than we had to produce the beer needed for… everything.

Least favorite beer to brew: Retribution. All about those pureed dates and raisins.

Favorite beer to brew: I like Traktor because it’s one of the easiest–smallest grain order and a small amount of hops.

Least favorite thing about brewing: Cleaning out the mash tun.

Favorite thing about brewing: Enjoying what you make and everyone else enjoying it.

Steve Murray. Brewer/Bartender.
Steve started home brewing 3-4 years ago with his sister’s boyfriend at the time, his dad and his brother. They continued for 1-2 years; but shortly after their mom was diagnosed with cancer, so the home brewing went on hold for a couple years. In December 2011, Steve and friends stumbled upon Greenbush at a beer tasting, quickly joined the mug club and returned to home brewing with “new found inspiration.” Steve was hired in the beginning of the summer to join the bartending crew and after bringing in a few of his home brews, was asked if he wanted to start brewing about a month ago. With a big ol’ smile on his face, the answer was an emphatic “YES!”

Least favorite beer to brew: Well so far that would have to be the fresh-hop harvest ale we just brewed. It was interesting and fun to use all those fresh-picked, wet hops, but clean up was a slight pain. Honestly, I have no least favorite beer to brew… I mean, come on, we’re brewing beer!

Favorite beer to brew: I haven’t done them all yet but Memento Mori was very fun, even though I haven’t ever tasted the finished product. I always love brewing my favorite beer to drink–Anger.

Least favorite thing about brewing: I don’t think I have one. No one really likes clean up, but I always feel good when I’m cleaning because I know I just made something fantastic. We do accidentally get burned a lot and that kind of sucks.

Favorite thing about brewing: When I’m out at the bar seeing all the people really enjoying the beer and knowing I helped make it. That’s definitely the best part.

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One thought on “In the Plant: Meet the Brewers

  1. The thing I appreciate about Greenbush is the quality of the employees. These are good guys and reflect the vision of the rest of your employees. Congratulations on your continued growth. You are adding to making Sawyer and Chikaming Township a destination.

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