Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

Meet the Brewer: Sean Laidlaw

Posted by Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. on August 31, 2017


Name: Sean Laidlaw

Home Town: Oceanside, Ca

Years with Fig: 2 years


How did you get your start brewing and how did you end up at Fig Mtn?

I started homebrewing with my dad and a friend when I was 19. In December 2012, I won a spot at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp, where I got to collaborate with other homebrewers and brew our recipe in their R&D brewhouse in Chico. A month later I started as an assistant brewer at Mission Brewery in San Diego. I worked there for a year and then brewed at Belching Beaver for a year and a half. While working a cask ale festival for the Beav, I ran into Kevin Ashford, our Creative Director and Santa Barbara Head Brewer. We hit it off and I came up to visit Fig about a month later during UCSB Alumni weekend. I really liked the company culture, so about a year later I ended up applying to work here.

What is an average day like for the Head Brewer in Arroyo Grande?

No such thing! Some days I spend most of my time on administrative work such as planning my week, answering emails, ordering raw materials, writing beer descriptions, recipe formulations, meetings, inventory, quality control work, etc. Other days I could be filtering, cleaning tanks, brewing, kegging, or cleaning beer lines. More often than not, it's a combination of many of the above!

What is your favorite part of the job?

Enjoying the finished product!


What's one thing you do for your job most people wouldn't think of?

I think people would tend to underestimate how much cleaning brewers need to do on a daily and regular basis. 

Is there a trend in the brewing industry you love or can't stand?

I really like that there is an increasing awareness of the importance of freshness. More and more breweries are starting to date code their bottles and customers are starting to prefer the options that they can get freshest, which tend to be more local.

Favorite thing to do near Arroyo Grande?

Ride my bicycle 

Do you have any beer-snob pet peeves?

Collecting more beer than they can possibly drink and letting it all go bad in their "cellar".


What is your favorite food/meal/activity to pair with beer?

Relaxing with a few beers at a camp site somewhere in the Sierras after a day of hiking, mountain biking, fishing...

What was the first beer you ever had? 

Löwenbrau Original

Do you have any hidden talents outside of brewing?

I play guitar.