K4 Spotlight: Jeff – Cheers to 10 Years!
Many of you (all of you?) made it out to celebrate our 10-year anniversary this past January. Now it’s time to spotlight one particular member of the team who’s been with us for the long haul. Jeff recently surpassed his own 10-year mark working at Karben4, and here’s what he had to say about the milestone…
“The year was 2010. I had recently finished undergrad from UW Madison with a degree in Kinesiology and was planning to attend grad school for a Masters in Prosthetics and Orthotics…The year I started grad school I started home brewing. Eventually, my interest in brewing surpassed my interest in prosthetics and orthotics!
I moved back to Madison from Michigan for an Orthotics Residency at the UW Madison Hospital…I had some weeks before starting a prosthetics residency and was relentless in trying to meet Ryan Koga in person to get my foot in the door at Karben4 with an eye to make a career move. On October 3rd 2013, I finally met Ryan on the patio of K4 and discussed our post-grad school journeys. Somehow, I talked myself into interning at K4. I spent a month trying to learn the ins and outs of the bottling line while cleaning and polishing the yards of stainless steel…After a few weeks, I knew I wasn’t going back!
A couple years later I was named head brewer and was fortunate enough to have my recipes Martian Sunrise Red IPA and Simply Dusty Chamomile Saison made at production levels, besides a few smaller releases like Beef Hammer West India Porter and what I would call an honorable mention role in the creation of Champagne Tortoise English Mild. It’s been an amazing 10 years. Although I haven’t been head brewer since 2020, as I have delved into distilling, I know I wouldn’t be where I am without K4. It’s a great team, and Ryan and Zak are inspiring, as well as great teachers. My colleagues throughout the years, like Meena DeFilippis, Sam Koelling, Nicholas Teichert, and many others have been an absolute honor to work with. Thanks to everyone at K4 and everyone who has enjoyed a Karben4 beer for a great 10 years!”
When Jeff isn’t brewing beer, you can find him at his own distillery, Awildan Distilling.