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Beer and craft brewing oral history interviews
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Beer and craft brewing oral history interviews

Accession 2016.287

Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
askhagley@hagley.org

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2017-03-06T13:22-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Beer and craft brewing oral history interviews (Accession 2016.287), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Beer and craft brewing oral history interviews
Dates: 2015-2016
Accession Number: 2016.287
Creator: Hagley Museum and Library. Library. Oral History Project Office.; Hargreaves, Gregory, (staff)
Extent: 23.6 gigabytes
Physical Description: 23 WAV Files.
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department
Abstract: Craft beer is defined by the Brewers Association as being a small brewery (six million barrels of beer or less annually), independent (less than 25 percent owned by a non-craft brewer industry member), and traditional (in reference to ingredients, fermentation, flavor, and alcohol volume). This collection contains a series of interviews conducted in 2015 and 2016 on the business of craft brewing in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. The collection includes interviews with brewers and brewery owners from Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.
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Administrative Information


Existence and Location of Originals

This collection is available in the Hagley Digital Archives.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

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Historical Note

Craft beer is defined by the Brewers Association as being a small brewery (six million barrels of beer or less annually), independent (less than 25 percent owned by a non-craft brewer industry member), and traditional (in reference to ingredients, fermentation, flavor, and alcohol volume). While the history of beer goes back to antiquity, the history craft beer is often traced back to 1965 with Frederick Louis "Fritz" Maytag III (1937- ). Maytag purchased Anchor Brewing Company upon hearing the business was due to close. Within ten years the company turned a profit. The second craft brewery started operation in 1976. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, craft brewing gradually began to rise in popularity, reaching over 2,000 craft breweries in 2012.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains a series of interviews conducted in 2015 and 2016 on the business of craft brewing in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The collection includes interviews with brewers, brewery owners, retailer/wholesalers, restaurant owners, the Director of the Brewing Sciences Program at the University of the Sciences, and the Commissioner of Alcoholic Beverage Control of Delaware. One interview is a narrated tour of a brewing facility.

Subjects covered in these interviews include: the brewing process, the science and technology behind brewing, consumer culture, marketing and selling, production and distribution, quality control, retailing, and brew pub operations. Interviewees discuss their careers and experiences in the industry, exploring the brewery as a workplace, a business start-up, and business development. Additionally, interviews were conducted that cover packaging (canning), designing and building a brewery, and the politics around regulating the alcohol business.

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Access Points

Beer industry
Beer--Law and legislation
Brewing
Work environment
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Series Descriptions and Inventory

Interview with Lauren Bigelow, 2016 January 6
1 WAV File. TRT 01:32:15.
Biographical Note
Lauren Bigelow (1987-) is Sales & Communications Manager at Mispillion River Brewing Company in Milford, DE. A native of Annapolis, Maryland, Bigelow grew up in Ontario, Canada, studied politics atGordon College, and had an early career in public service work before entering the craft brewing industry with Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company in 2012. She joined Mispillion River Brewing Company in 2014 as head of sales and communications.
Scope and Contents note
Bigelow discusses her background and early career and contrast it with her experience working in the craft brewing industry. Bigelow offers perspective on breweries as workplaces, the process of selling beer, and the challenges of communicating a brewery's message in a crowded market. [ID: Lauren_Bigelow_1_6_16 ].
Interview with Ryan Maloney, 2015 December 29
1 WAV File. TRT 01:26:31.
Biographical Note
Ryan Maloney (1986 - ) is Head Brewer at Mispillion River Brewing Company. Maloney, a native of Milford, Delaware, grew up in a farming family, and served in the United States Marine Corps, and briefly worked in government contracting. Maloney started as a part time helper in the brewery at Mispillion River Brewing Company, took an online course through the Siebel Institute, and worked his way up to Head Brewer.
Scope and Contents note
Maloney briefly discusses his background and early career before a more in-depth discussion of his education as a brewer and his experiences working in the brewery at Mispillion. The process of learning to brew is discussed, as are the technical aspects of the brewing process. Maloney offers perspective on the complexities of brewing as a science and a manufacturing process, and the business and marketing factors that brewers must consider in their work. [ID: Ryan_Maloney_12_29_15 ].
Interview with Taylor Smack, 2016 January 8
1 WAV File. TRT 02:22:01.
Biographical Note
Taylor Smack (1975- ) is Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Blue Mountain Brewery. A native of Central Virginia, Smack studied English at Hampton Sydney College, and worked writing ad copy before pursuing a career in brewing. Smack attended the Siebel Institute, and landed a job a Head Brewer for Goose Island Brewing before returning to Virginia to brew for South Street Brewing, and eventually opening Blue Mountain Brewery.
Scope and Contents note
Smack offers perspective on the complicated ways in which regulation shapes business; and how major business decisions at Blue Mountain Brewery were informed by regulation. [ID: Taylor_Smack_1_8_16 ].
Interview with Tim Brady, 2016 January 10
1 WAV File. TRT 01:41:45.
Biographical Note
Tim Brady (1980- ) is Co-Founder and General Manager at Pale Fire Brewing Company. A native of Northern Virginia, Brady studied at James Madison University before entering the craft brewing industry at Calhoun's Brewery and Restaurant where he worked his way up to Head Brewer. Brady subsequently worked for a distributor of craft beer in the region, when he met Jamie Long, his subsequent co-founder of Pale Fire Brewing Company.
Scope and Contents note
Brady offers perspective on multiple positions within the craft brewing industry including his role in brewpub operations, product distribution, and beer production. [ID: Tim_Brady_1_10_16 ].
Interview with Robert "Bob" Trostel, 2016 January 14
1 WAV File. TRT 01:53:19.
Biographical Note
Bob Trostel (1954- ) is President of BreakThru Beverage Group of Delaware. A native of Philadelphia, Trostel gained initial experience in the alcohol industry working in fine dining. Trostel subsequently entered the alcohol distribution industry, where he played a key role in fostering the emergence of craft beer in Delaware.
Scope and Contents note
Trostel discusses the craft beer business, consumer tastes, and his career in wholesaling. [ID: Bob_Trostel_1_14_16 ].
Interview with Robert Murray, 2016 March 9
1 WAV File. TRT 01:58:02.
Biographical Note
Robert Murray (1957- ) is President and Beer Manager at State Line Liquors. A native of Elkton, Maryland, Murray grew up in a home atop the family business, a downtown grocery and liquor store. Murray studied at the University of Delaware, and his parents relocated the business to the projected location of Interstate 95. He entered the family business doing the books and eventually, along with his siblings, took the business over from his parents. Under his influence, State Line Liquors has become one of the premier retailers for craft beer in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Scope and Contents note
Murray offers perspective on the craft brewing industry from the point of view of the alcohol retailer, detailing the evolution of the beer retail space over several decades. The environment yielded excellent recording conditions, with the exception of music and occasional announcements coming over the public address system. [ID: Robert_Murray_3_9_16 ].
Interview with Eric Williams, 2015 December 29
1 WAV File. TRT 01:50:02.
Historical Note
Eric Williams (1971- ) is Founder and Co-Owner of Mispillion River Brewing Company. Williams, a native of Delaware, attended the University of Montana, and had an early career in paint sales. He decided to open Mispillion River Brewing Company after enjoying success as a home brewer.
Scope and Contents note
Williams discusses his background and early career, his involvement in home brewing that inspired him to found Mispillion River Brewing Company, and the subsequent challenges and rewards of operating a medium-scale craft brewery. Williams offers perspective on the start up and early maturation phases of craft brewing business development, and the process of positioning a craft brewery in the marketplace. [ID: Eric_Williams_12_29_15 ].
Interview with Forrest "Al" Stewart, 2016 January 12
1 WAV File. TRT 01:23:00.
Historical Note
Al Stewart (1965- ) is Founder and Owner of Stewart's Brewing Company. A native of northern Delaware, Stewart studied at the University of Delaware before opening Stewart's Brewing Company, the first brewpub in New Castle County, in 1995.
Scope and Contents note
Stewart offers perspective on over twenty years of craft brewing in Delaware, and the challenges of running a brewpub. [ID: Al_Stewart_1_12_16 ].
Interview with Jamie Long, 2016 January 9
1 WAV File. TRT 01:18:33.
Biographical Note
Jamie Long (1985- ) is Co-Founder and Head Brewer at Pale Fire Brewing Company. A native of Culpepper, Virginia, Long studied political science at James Madison University before getting involved in craft beer via work in local fine dining. Long attended the Siebel Institute, and landed a job at Flying Dog Brewing, where he worked his way up to Head Brewer. He decided to open Pale Fire Brewing Company following talks with co-founder Tim Brady.
Scope and Contents note
Long offers perspective on the process of designing and building a brewery. [ID: Jamie_Long_1_9_16 ].
Interview with John "Jack" Cordrey, 2016 February 1
1 WAV File. TRT 02:19:56.
Biographical Note
Jack Cordrey (1955- ) is Commissioner of Alcoholic Beverage Control for the State of Delaware. A native of Sussex County, Delaware, Cordrey studied business at Bridgewater College, and earned a law degree at the Delaware Law School Widener University. Cordrey worked as an attorney for the State Senate and chair of the Tax Appeal Board before becoming Commissioner in 2001.
Scope and Contents note
Cordrey offers perspective on the legal and regulatory aspects of the craft brewing industry, and of alcohol regulation more generally. [ID: John_Cordrey_2_1_16 ].
Interview with Mark Edelson, 2016 February 2
1 WAV File. TRT 02:05:49.
Historical Note
Mark Edelson (1964- ) is Co-Founder, and Director of Brewery Operations at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant (Chesapeake and Delaware Brewing Company). A native of the Jersey Shore, Edelson studied chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and had an early career in pharmaceutical manufacturing. His background in manufacturing process, and an interest in brewing, led him to collaborate with Kevin Finn and a third partner to found Iron Hill, which has grown to a dozen locations around the region.
Scope and Contents note
Edelson offers perspective on the business and technology of craft brewing, with particular emphasis on the brewing process itself. [ID: Mark_Edelson_2_2_16 ].
Interview with Kevin Atticks, 2016 March 10
1 WAV File. TRT 01:48:48.
Historical Note
Kevin Atticks (1975- ) is Executive Director of the Brewers' Association of Maryland, and Founder of Grow + Fortify, LLC. A native of Bowie, Maryland, Atticks studied journalism at Loyola University, and earned a Masters in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He had an early career teaching, and entered the alcohol industry writing about Maryland wine. This engagement lead him to work with and eventually lead the Maryland Wineries Association, and subsequently to lead the Brewers' Association of Maryland. Atticks founded Grow + Fortify to serve the trade associations of agriculture industries in Maryland.
Scope and Contents note
Atticks briefly discusses his personal and professional background, education and early career, before moving on to an in-depth discussion of his career in organizing and advocating for the local, craft alcohol industries in Maryland. Atticks began his career writing a book on Maryland wineries, which lead to deepening engagement with that industry. Atticks enjoyed considerable success leading the Maryland Wineries Association, helping to organize the industry, and winning advantageous changes to the law. Observing opportunities to replicate this success, Atticks founded Grow + Fortify, LLC to serve the trade associations of Maryland craft brewers and distillers in addition to wineries. Atticks also discusses the wide array of factors influencing the development of the craft alcohol industries, including market conditions, consumer culture, the environment, and quality control. [ID: Kevin_Atticks_3_10_16 ].
Interview with Kevin Finn, 2016 February 2
1 WAV File. TRT 01:55:03.
Biographical Note
Kevin Finn (1961- ) is Co-Founder and President of Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant (Chesapeake and Delaware Brewing Company). A native of Glassboro, New Jersey, Finn studied industrial manufacturing at Boston University, and had an early career in outdoor advertising. An interest in brewing and restaurant ownership led him to Mark Edelson and a third partner in founding Iron Hill, which has grown to a dozen locations throughout the region.
Scope and Contents note
Finn offers perspective on the intersection of craft brewing and running a restaurant, drawing on his twenty years' experience in the industry. [ID: Kevin_Finn_2_2_16 ].
Interview with Gene Muller, 2016 January 29
1 WAV File. TRT 01:52:20.
Historical Note
Gene Muller (1954- ) is Founder and Owner of Flying Fish Brewing Company. A native of Pinehill, New Jersey, Muller attended Rutgers before having an early career in as a writer and earning a Masters degree in communication at Drexel University. Muller combined interest in art and technology and founded Flying Fish as an online brewery in 1995. Flying Fish was the first craft brewery to open in New Jersey.
Scope and Contents note
Muller discusses his experience in twenty years of craft brewing in New Jersey. [ID: Gene_Muller_1_29_16 ].
Interview with Barry Holsten, 2016 January 29
1 WAV File. TRT 01:52:20.
Historical Note
Barry Holsten (1972- ) is Head Brewer at Flying Fish Brewing Company. A native of South Brunswick, New Jersey, Holsten grew up in an farming family and entered the brewing industry working in a brewing supply shop and using farm equipment to manufacture brewing components. Holsten has brewed in brewpubs, as a contract brewer, in production brewing settings, and, at the time of this interview, runs brewery operations for Flying Fish Brewing Company.
Scope and Contents note
Holsten offers perspective on the brewer's profession from a variety of positions within the industry. [ID: Barry_Holsten_1_29_16 ].
Interview with Ben Trumbo, 2016 January 9
1 WAV File. TRT 01:23:42.
Historical Note
Ben Trumbo (1983- ) is Lead Brewer at Pale Fire Brewing Company. A native of Botetourt County, Virginia, Trumbo studied religion at the University of Virginia before entering into the craft brewing industry at Six Row Brewing of St. Louis, Missouri. When looking for opportunities in Virginia, Trumbo learned of the opening at Pale Fire Brewing Company and was hired as their Lead Brewer.
Scope and Contents note
Trumbo offers perspective on the work and professional life of brewers, and how the beer industry looks from the brewer's point of view. [ID: Ben_Trumbo_1_9_16 ].
Interview with Matthew Farber, PhD, 2016 February 5
1 WAV File. TRT 02:06:21.
Historical Note
Matthew Farber (1984- ) is Director of the Brewing Sciences Program at the University of the Sciences. A native of Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania, Farber grew up in a family of science educators, studied biology at Seton Hall, and earned a doctorate in microbiology with a minor in teaching from the University of Pittsburgh. Following a postdoc at the University of the Sciences, Farber spearheaded the school's emergent program in Brewing Science.
Scope and Contents note
Farber offers perspective on the science of brewing, and how it relates to the business and technology of the craft brewing industry. An expert on yeast, Farber's interview illustrates the craft brewing industry from the point of view of the laboratory. [ID: Matthew_Farber_2_5_16 ].
Interview with Lori Clough, 2016 February 4
1 WAV File. TRT 01:51:00.
Historical Note
Lori Clough (1963- ) is Co-Founder and General Manager of 3rd Wave Brewing Company. A native of southern Delaware, Clough studied science and technology at Delaware Tech and Delaware State before having an early career in hospitality at the Delaware beaches and five years as a food technologist in Ireland. Returning to Delaware, Clough worked as a delivery driver for UPS before co-founding 3rd Wave Brewing Company, where she manages the brewery, tasting room, and sales force.
Scope and Contents note
Clough offers perspective on the processes of opening and running a craft brewery in an increasingly crowded marketplace. [ID: Lori_Clough_2_4_16 ].
Interview with Matthew Sebastionelli, 2016 March 11
1 WAV File. TRT 02:16:44.
Biographical Note
Matthew Sebastionelli (1984-) is Founder and Co-Owner of River City Cannery and Lucky Clover Packaging. Born into a military family in Arizona, Sebastionelli grew up in a variety of locations, but considers Olympia, Washington his hometown. He entered into firefighting out of high school, and served for thirteen years before an injury caused him to reconsider his career. An interest in home brewing lead him to the craft brewing industry, and the development of the mobile canning business River City Cannery, and its subsidiary business lines Lucky Clover Packaging and Craft Pack contract manufacturing and packaging, based in Elkridge, Maryland.
Scope and Contents note
Sebastionelli discusses his background in a military family, and early career in firefighting. An injury on the job forced Sebastionelli to reconsider his career options, a process that led him into the craft brewing industry. Lacking sufficient capital and expertise to open a brewery, Sebastionelli decided to try an innovative business model providing mobile canning services for craft breweries. Sebastionelli discusses the challenges of getting his business off the ground, which involved skills development, industry networking, and extensive assistance from his wife and business partner Ashley Sebastionelli. Sebastionelli has enjoyed considerable success with his business, such that he has expanded its offerings to include packaging brokerage services and co-manufacturing, co-packaging services for alcoholic and non-alcoholic craft beverage industries. [ID: Matthew_Sabastionelli_3_11_16 ].
Interview with Hugh Sisson, 2016 February 3
1 WAV File. TRT 01:51:18.
Historical Note
Hugh Sisson (1954- ) is Founder and Managing Partner of Heavy Seas Beer (Clipper City Brewing Company). A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Sisson has been involved in craft brewing since its earliest emergence on the East Coast, having operated a successful retail establishment selling specialty beers, and opening Maryland's first brewpub in the 1980s. Following the success of those ventures, Sisson founded Clipper City Brewing Company as production brewery. The business evolved over the years and is currently best known for brewing Heavy Seas Beer.
Scope and Contents note
Sisson offers perspective on the emergence and evolution of the craft brewing industry in the Mid-Atlantic, with particular emphasis placed on the challenges of the industry over time. [ID: Hugh_Sisson_2_3_16 ].
Interview with Sam Calagione, 2016 January 21
1 WAV File. TRT 01:53:02.
Biographical Note
Sam Calagione (1969- ) is Founder and President of Dogfish Head Brewery. A native of New York, Calagione grew up in Massachusetts before returning to New York to study English. During that time, Calagione took up home brewing, and began to develop the ideas for Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales. Calagione played an essential role in bringing craft brewing to Delaware through his activism to change the law to create opportunities for small brewers in the state. The creativity and vibrancy of the Mid-Atlantic craft brewing industry is in no small part a legacy of Calagione's career.
Scope and Contents note
Calagione offers perspective on the importance of craft brewing as a cultural and business movement. The persistent hum in the background of the recording came from machinery in an adjacent utility room, with the apologies of the interview subject. [ID: Sam_Calagione_1_21_16 ].
Tour of Pale Fire Brewery with Ben Trumbo, 2016 February 11
1 WAV File. TRT 00:52:08.
Biographical Note
Ben Trumbo (1983- ) is Lead Brewer at Pale Fire Brewing Company. A native of Botetourt County, Virginia, Trumbo studied religion at the University of Virginia before entering into the craft brewing industry at Six Row Brewing of St. Louis, Missouri. When looking for opportunities in Virginia, Trumbo learned of the opening at Pale Fire Brewing Company and was hired as their Lead Brewer.
Scope and Contents note
This interview took place in the brewery of Pale Fire Brewing Company in Harrisonburg, Virginia, during a specially-arranged tour of the facility located at 217 South Liberty Street #105 Harrisonburg, Virginia. Lead Brewer Ben Trumbo walks through the brewing process, discussing the equipment, ingredients, and processes involved in running a successful craft brewery. [ID: Brewey_Tour_2_11_16 ].