A product of Clinton, NY (a quaint little drinking village on the outskirts of Utica), Jesse Brookstein quickly grew to love all things beer. Upon receiving his Associates Degree in Graphic Design, he did what all smart graduates do and took a job at a beer distribution center where he soon realized he could make a decent living in the very industry he’d be pumping his money into for years. While drinking his fair share of Old Milwaukee and Utica Club, he started dabbling in the many Saranac ales and lagers from Utica’s FX Matt Brewing Company – and it was Saranac’s at-the-time “uncommon” craft beers, alongside a trip to Germany, that turned the Jesse into a full-fledged craft beer whore geek.
After returning to college, Jesse had the opportunity to intern at what might possibly be the nation’s most beautiful brewing facility, Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. The pay was quite little, the drive was quite long, but the beers and brewery grounds were incredible, and it was during his short stay at Ommegang that he realized he was destined to work in craft beer (read: be broke) for the rest of his life.
All graduated and ready to once again make poor post-college decisions, Jesse moved out to Colorado to be close to friends and explore/work within the many breweries this glorious state had to offer. His first gig in CO was a delivery driver position at Twisted Pine Brewing Company in Boulder, which allowed the professional in him priceless small-brewery experience, and the beer geek in him the opportunity to explore the aisles of some of Colorado’s finest liquor stores.
After seven months at Twisted Pine, Jesse moved to Avery Brewing Company in October 2007, where he became the 9th member of the production team. Like all good beer geeks, he had grand visions of standing atop the brew deck , but he soon found himself falling in love with the world of packaging – not only did it allow him to play Darkness on the Edge of Town and The ’59 Sound for his always-enthusiastic coworkers, it also allowed him to grow into a management position that others had little desire to fill. As Packaging Manager, Jesse was lucky enough to work beside an endless supply of badass warriors, and when he ultimately retired from Avery in March 2014, the brewery had grown to 90+ employees, 14 of which worked solely in packaging. Though he dearly misses all of his coworkers at Avery (over the line!), he has to say he’s happy to be free of Fred “Hey Look, I’m From Vermont” Rizzo’s incorrect – and often times horrible – opinions.
In his spare time, Jesse likes to drink and talk about beer. He sometimes likes to write about beer. And as the future tap room manager, he’d really like to pour you some Call to Arms beers come the new year.