To follow Chris's wordsmithing (that's a pun, since his last name is Smith!), I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself as well. I'm the other founding member of The Virginia Beer Company. I'm from Northern Virginia and outside of a few semesters spent at the University of Rhode Island, have pretty much resided in some part of the Old Dominion for most of my life. I transferred to William & Mary in 2002 and graduated in 2005 with degrees in Finance and International Relations. Afterwards I started working for a financial consulting firm in Arlington, VA where I spent close to nine years. I have a younger sister, Aly, and a younger brother, Christopher, both of whom are eager for me to do less typing and more brewing. My family had a cat named Budweiser growing up - just proves that a career in beer was meant to be!
I had the great fortune to meet Chris and his wife Erin during my time at W&M. Chris and I worked together at the student Phonathon (yes, we were the people calling the alums to ask for money to support the school; so we've probably spoken!) and our interest in craft beer also began in Williamsburg. The story in the first post about much of our free time being spent in search of new and unusual beers was not an exaggeration. If I wasn't toiling away at the office (see: sleeping under my desk), I was trying to convince Chris to take a trip to a new city to check out the local breweries, brewpubs, and bars. Beers, BBQ, and baseball - mostly in that order - pretty much rounded out our time on the road. Erin put up with our adventures (luckily she's a craft beer aficionado) and I was eventually even the best man at Chris & Erin's wedding in 2011. Flash forward to 2012 and the two were making their way back to Williamsburg to get VBC started. I spent many miles and a lot of money on satellite radio traveling between NoVA and the Burg until early 2014 when I too relocated full time to keep this brewery moving full steam ahead!
I'd like to think of myself as the craft beer Captain Ahab and the beer world is my Moby Dick (though without the horribly tragic ending and what not). I am simply obsessed with beer and continue to scour the world for new beers, new flavors, and new ideas about how to make even more styles of the delicious ambrosia that is beer. And I'd like to think of this brewery as my craft beer Gilligan's Island. I'm sure Chris would say I'm the Gilligan to his Skipper, but really, working to build this brewery has been one of the most invigorating and challenging experiences of my life. While sometimes it has been a long, arduous journey it's been 100% worthwhile and I bet I write for Chris when I say I'm at my most fulfilled when I'm doing anything related to Virginia Beer Co. There's no escaping it and I have no desire to - building a brewery is what we've set out to do and we're thrilled to see our dream coming to fruition. So now that I've somehow mentioned Herman Melville & Bob Denver in the same space, let me close by saying thanks for taking a moment to get to know me better, and I look forward to getting to know all of you in the future (over beers, clearly)! Cheers!