Christian’s brewing career began in 1992 in his parents’ kitchen during his first summer break from the University of Oregon School of Business. He quickly fell in love with the brewing art and after a semester abroad in Cologne, Germany, the home of Kölsch style beer, Christian saw an opportunity to combine German brewing traditions with bold Northwest beer flavors. As of 1995, he was the only student in University of Oregon history to receive five college credits for making beer as a brewery intern and a paid brewing position with Eugene City Brewery followed closely after graduation. Christian ventured to Davis, California to complete the Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering course from the American Brewers Guild. In 2004, while at Laurelwood Pub and Brewery, Christian was awarded the World Beer Cup Champion Brewmaster Award. Brandie, Julian, and Evelyn, complete the family and make it all worthwhile. Traveling, cycling, snowboarding and hiking are the means to the perfect pint.
Thomas Bleigh started his career at Portland Brewing Company as an un-paid intern. Prior to joining Hopworks, he held the positions of Brewer, Lead Brewer, Lead Cellar Operator, Head Brewer and Plant Manager at Portland Brewing, Pyramid Breweries, Independent Brewer’s United and North American Breweries. In 2008, he was recognized, along with Pyramid Breweries as Mid Size Brewer/Brewery of the Year at GABF.
He is a graduate from UC Davis and UW-Madison with an MFA in Fine Arts. Born in Augsburg, Germany, he has an appreciation for beer appellation and the “drink local” mentality. When not spending time with his two young children, or playing soccer, he can be found spending his time pursuing charcuterie or fermenting various meats, cheese, fruits or vegetables.
Trever Bass – Head Brewer
Trever began home brewing more than a decade ago while getting his degree in fine art at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Realizing that making beer could be more than a hobby—and with the helpful encouragement of his beautiful wife—he decided on a career change. Trever interned at Flagstaff Brewing Company and fell in love with the beer business. For four years, Trever brewed at the award-winning Beaver Street Brewery and The Lumberyard Brewing Co. before moving to the craft beer mecca of Portland in 2011. With no small amount of persistence, he landed a job with Hopworks where he is proud to serve as head brewer—a position that offers him the opportunity to craft delicious, innovative beers and occasionally hone his plumbing skills. When he is not brewing, drinking or thinking about beer, he enjoys fly-fishing, gardening and riding his bicycle.
Matthew Speckenbach, better known simply as “Speck”, was born and raised in Long Island, NY. He went to college in Pennsylvania where he competed on the fencing team, before leaving the east coast to follow the beer to Portland, OR. He enjoys live music, drinking and homebrewing beer.
After a few years as a financial analyst in NYC, Walker realized desk work was not what he wanted to do with his life. One day while homebrewing he had a revelation: “People do this for a living…” He spent the next year getting certified as a Beer Judge, brewing tons of beer at home and reading every brewing book he could get his hands on. Walker arrived in Portland in 2009 and got a job as an assistant brewer in a small brewpub. In the spring of 2011 he completed the American Brewers Guild program & joined up with Hopworks where he is excited to help produce some of Portland’s best beer. Beyond the beer world you’ll find Walker enjoying the outdoors, raising his daughter Margaret and honing his downhill unicycle skills.
Originally hailing from Connecticut, Don moved to the hustle and bustle of NYC, then the laid back calm of San Francisco and now the weird and beautiful Portland. After 15 years as a graphic artist and production manager for a national printing company. It was on a chance visit to Alaska that a friend gave him some very tasty homebrew. Out there, camping in the frontier it seemed so clear, why not make beer for a living instead of a computer file. Immediately upon return to San Francisco he got a homebrew kit and with each batch of brew the addiction grew. Shortly after, Don joined the American Brewer’s Guild program. Don apprenticed for five weeks at Hopworks along with another week of residential training at Otter Creek Brewing in Vermont. A year later, he became a permanent member of the HUB team and had no regrets, making great beer with great people. In his off time Don enjoys riding motorcycles, playing guitar and exploring the Northwest with his wife.
What is Casey Ray? Is he (assuming he is a he) animal, vegetable, or mineral, or none of the above? This question has been asked many times over the three decades of his corporeal existence. What is known is that in his second decade he dedicated his future existence toward the creation and maintenance of mechanisms that create social harmony and lubricity. This led him to a career of alcohol production. While he began his career elsewhere, (and producing other beverages) ultimately this led him to the Mecca of beer making, Portland Oregon, and to what may be the most community oriented brewery in Portland, Hopworks Urban Brewery.
In his free time you will often find Casey hanging about with his fellow undead friends. While he does enjoy the company of vampires and zombies, he often finds werewolves tiresome. Casey: “Too much gnashing of the teeth for my taste”
Also he has no love for facial hair. Beyond that he abhors poorly executed facial hair. Casey: “Face it, some of us just can’t grow beards and should just stop trying.”
He’s a Cancer/Leo cusp that combines all the insecurities of Cancers with all the “look at me, look at me” attention mongering of a Leo. This grants him the ability to appear and disappear at will. As such his slogan for life – Casey: “Fast as fast can be, you’ll never catch me”
William began homebrewing with a roommate while in college at the University of Oregon. For the next few years many beers were brewed (and drank), books were read, and skills were honed. By the time he completed college he decided to stop pursuing a medical career and follow his passion for brewing. With his thirst for brewing knowledge unquenched he enrolled in the American Brewers Guild which led him to Hopworks where he continues to learn, brew, and of course drink great beer. Beyond the beer world you can find William trail running or camping.
Justin grew up in Colorado where he first discovered snowboards and great beer. When the mountains became a little too majestic and the skies a little too blue, he moved to Oregon in 2004. After many years in restaurant management, he decided to turn his love for food science into something more. Justin has been working at Hopworks Brewery since 2011 and is class of 2015 at the American Brewers Guild. When not brewing he can be found hiking the Cascades, biking and cooking. He’s arguably the strongest of our brewers, and modesty is probably his best attribute.
After graduating from Oregon State University with her degree in Food and Fermentation Science, McKenna went to work for Anheuser Busch as a brewing supervisor and then as the brewing quality manager. Wanting to be in the craft industry, she left and went to work for Lagunitas in Petaluma, CA. She recently moved to Portland and started working as the quality technician for HUB. In her spare time, she loves homebrewing, cooking, snowboarding, backpacking and everything outside.
Justin “JT” Combs
Justin “JT” Combs was born and raised in sunny Portland, Oregon. After his parents taught him the art of wine tasting, how to make the perfect Spanish coffee, and what makes a good tequila, JT discovered that beer was his drink of choice. Beer and the art of homebrewing became so much of his life that he decided to pursue it as a career. Getting in the beer industry was not easy, though, so he floated between jobs as a homeschool teacher, meat cutter, cook, sidewalk balloon salesman, nanny, and fulltime party-goer until landing at Hopworks in 2013. JT lives life to the fullest, riding motorcycles whenever he can. His current record for cats jumped on a motorcycle is 49.
Jonathan is a native Oregonian whose love for craft beer started brewin’…back in the year 2000 when he got a job at a local brewpub at the ripe age of 21. While for many years the focus and love was much more on the consumption of it, rather than the actual crafting. He took the leap into the home brewing world when he and his family moved out to Burlington, VT. He was hooked from the get go and realized that brewing beer was where it was at. While in Vermont he attended the New England Culinary Institute and the American Brewers Guild. Outside of the beer world he loves music, traveling, snowboarding, imbibing and checking out all the awesome culinary treats he can find with his crazy amazing kids (Colin, Aidan and Cameron), his wife Amanda, and Boston Terrier Ollie-dawg.
Born and raised in a small town outside of Eugene, OR, David developed his love and passion for craft beer and homebrewing while attending the University of Oregon. After graduating, he started off in retail management and relocated around the NW for various job positions over the next 8 years. Eventually, David decided it was time to move on and has recently joined the Hopworks team to pursue a career in the industry he greatly admires. When not working in the brewery or homebrewing, David enjoys running (yes, for fun), backpacking, fly-fishing, snowboarding, cooking and tending to his hop garden.