Behind the Bush: Justin Heckathorn

Spotting Justin Heckathorn is kind of like spotting a bald eagle. The instances are few and far between, but when the occasion presents itself, it’s pretty majestic. For those of you who don’t know, Justin is Greenbush’s financial operations guru. If you’re lucky, you’ve caught a glimpse of him, perhaps at the holiday party, helping out behind the bar on New Year’s Eve or squeegeeing the floor with brewer Joe. But enough introductory nonsense, let’s get to know the REAL Justin Heckathorn.

What do you do at Greenbush?
Basically write checks, keep us current with our suppliers, take part in planning for the future and any administrative tasks I can accomplish between the hours of 6-7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. to midnight.

How’d you get involved with the brewery?
Scott and I have known each other since elementary school and became really close friends in middle school. Scott knew he didn’t want to be bothered with boring office work, nor does he have the patience for it, so….enter me.

What time is happy hour for you?
It’s always happy hour someplace. Only time I can really live by that is when I’m camping. Otherwise, it’s usually coffee first…then on to happy hours.

You’re on a deserted island and can only have one case of mass-produced domestic beer dropped to you—what do you pick?
Easy. Fresh canned Bud Light. I assume it will be dropped cold so I can sink in the water to keep it cold. This refreshing treat (if fresh) doesn’t taste too bad getting somewhat warm and not sitting in direct sun. Also, I hope we can start with a Monday drop and a Friday drop and go from there.

Redeem yourself—what’s your favorite non-Greenbush beer to drink?
What? There’s other kind of beer!?! Okay….I like Founders Breakfast Stout these days.

What’s been your most memorable experience with Greenbush thus far?
San Francisco ….at least parts of it.

What does your family think about all this madness?
They think we have a pretty cool fort made. Not sure they see the full magnitude of things.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The Official Fifth Beatle…..however, I would been forced to play the cow bell or something with that bunch of lackluster musicians.

If you were a Greenbush beer, which would you be and why?
Distorter. That’s my brain most times.

What’s your favorite food?
Indian. Butter Chicken. Just keep clear the next day though.

Where do you think you and Greenbush will be in 5 years?
Hopefully I will be employed by then. Also, I think we’ll have a kickin’ presence in the great Midwest and mushroom out to other big cities around the US. Big goals, but that is a five-year target…and when I say “big goals,” I mean that part about me being employed.

If you only had one item you could take with you to work at Greenbush, what would it be?
My calculator. I can’t think without it.

What’s the most exotic place you’ve ever visited?
Town of Merida in the central part of the Yucatan peninsula. Then going to visit various Maya ruins via a van/bus that would not pass as “safe” in the US.

Chicago or Michigan sports teams (or Indiana if you’re crazy)?
Chicago. Da Bears….come on Cubs!

Did you have a favorite brewery before Greenbush opened?
Founders in Grand Rapids.

What’s on your nightstand?
Alarm clock and a pint of water.

How many beers do you drink in a typical day?
What am I, visiting my doctors? Two. A growler counts as one beer if you are drinking straight from it, right?

Rhapsody Hero (where you try to pick the WORST song for everyone to enjoy)—what’s your pick?
Lionel Richie is a good pick. But I may have to go with a Dr. Hook treat…..Sexy Eyes or Sharing the Night Together.  Both have that great 70’s groove, man.
Bonus question—how do you keep your head so shiny?
That’s a secret I can’t tell….per my hairdresser. Sorry.


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