Braxton Brewing has announced the addition of a full-time brewer to its staff in advance of its opening later this winter. Longtime home brewer Conan Crofoot will join the brewery this Monday, January 12, 2015.
“Conan is truly a passionate brewer who has desired to expand his skills from home-brewing to commercial brewing for quite some time “says co-founder and head brewer Evan Rouse. “We’re beyond thrilled to have him join the Braxton family.”
Crofoot is a stalwart of the Cincinnati home brewing scene, active in both the Delhi Mashers and the Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild. He’s a regular competitor in competitions at all levels, medaling in events such as the Bloatarian Brewing League’s Beer & Sweat, the Cincinnati Malt Infusers OktobersBest and the American Homebrewers Association’s National Homebrew Competition. He has also served as competition organizer of the OktobersBest event. He identifies his Black IPA as the beer he feels he makes best.
With his considerable home brewing experience, he says he spoke to Rouse at a brew out about making the jump to the professional ranks. Rouse encouraged him to apply for the Braxton opening that was announced on November 4, 2014. Crofoot was chosen from a pool of more than 50 candidates.
He admits to being nervous about the step up. “Who wouldn’t be?” he says, “Luckily I will be learning from one of the best in [Brewmaster] Richard [Dubé]. The challenge is just going to be getting into a new groove. There’s a lot to do before we get to brewing. I’ve been hanging around the breweries for some time and I think I have a good handle on what to expect.”
We’ll be checking with him in about six months to see how that works out.
Crofoot is a first for Braxton in several ways. He’s the first person hired full time since the brewery was announced. He’ll be the first brewer to regularly show up to work in a car since he lives on the West Side (Rouse lives close enough to walk and Dubé rides his bike in when weather allows). Most importantly, to any self-respecting craft brewery, Crofoot will be the first with a full beard.
Construction is still ongoing at the Braxton Brewery in Covington and no opening date has been announced beyond having a goal of this winter.