SAY HI TO JASON
Our new Head of Production
These are exciting times in Columbus; with DogTap having opened its doors to our legion of new friends from all over Ohio and beyond we can now devote everything to getting the brewhouse installation complete and production underway. As the final pieces of kit arrive we are in the hands of an amazing team of people on the ground in the US – and one of their number has a very particular, and hugely exciting brief.
We are psyched to announce that we have taken on board Jason Pond from Firestone Walker as our Head of Production – and he has not one, but two brewery projects to get his teeth into.
Yes, Jason is currently working feverishly behind the scenes with our Head of Production for BrewDog USA Tim Hawn to get our Columbus brewhouse operational ready to begin the first test batches (which should be on the go within the next couple of weeks). Once he has done his bit in Columbus, Jason will be packing up and flying across the world to head up our production team in Ellon, taking the reins in our Aberdeenshire brewery.
This would faze many people, but Jason is ex-Navy and a keen skydiver to boot so clearly relishes the adrenalin buzz that the fermentation of wort into beer brings on a daily basis. So how did he get started in a love for beer that has brought him from his native Colorado to Ellon, via Columbus?
“After one epic Sunday of jumping out of airplanes we went to the bar and my roommate told me to try an Anchor Steam. I was slightly hesitant but ordered one so he would shut up, as soon as I tried it I was hooked. I started trying every style that I could get my hands on, light, dark, hoppy, boozy it didn’t matter, if it was something I hadn’t had I would buy it. The obsession for beer became so great two months later I got a job at the local liquor store so I could get a discount.”
Local beer retail soon lost Jason however, when a chance meeting with the legendary Dale Katechis of Oskar Blues resulted in an interview and a job on their canning line. Within eight months Jason had worked his way up through the entirety of the levels in both the Packaging team and the Production team at Oskar Blues to be Head Brewer – if anything shows his determination and ambition, then this trajectory is it. He worked with Oskar Blues for two years before moving to the equally well-respected Firestone Walker, and the rest is history.
“I was also able to spend over six years as Matt Brynildson’s right hand man learning all I could about making great beer. He also let me take over Firestone’s role in the Hop Quality Group so I've spent the last four years working with the American hop growers and other craft breweries to ensure hop quality in the US,” he says. Jason’s role at Firestone Walker encompassed the entirety of day-to-day cold-side brewing activities – running everything from fermentation, dry-hopping, filtration and (always the role with the longest waiting list) barrel-ageing.
It’s amazing to have Jason on board to take on the role of Production Manager. This year we are going to fully dial in the potential of our Site 3 brewhouse as well as commissioning and installing a brand new bottling line, so we have everything in place to ship more super-fresh BrewDog beer than ever before. Given his white-knuckle recreational activities we are sure that he will take everything BrewDog can throw at him in his stride – and we have one person in particular who is looking forward to working with Jason – our co-founder Martin Dickie.
“Jason is the perfect mix of logic driven perfectionist, scientific disciplinarian and senatorial creative artist. A real life Felonius Gru. I'm very excited to have him lead our team.” Just don’t look for Martin to join Jason skydiving anytime soon…