Posted by Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. on August 23, 2017
Name: Andre Espinoza
Position: Production Brewer and Cask Director in Buellton
Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA
I've been with Figueroa Mountain since 2013.
I've always had an interest in beer and creating things with my hands. I started working with Kevin Ashford in Santa Barbara about a year and a half ago, working in the cellar, learning how to clean, do all the grunt work, and fill kegs. I really started to get involved with it there, he gave me a lot of passion and a lot of good advice. That's what lead to my position up here in Buellton.
Getting to talk to people. Even though my days are hectic, I'm always able to find a minute to talk to customers. Even if its someone who doesn't know much about beer, just talking shop in some way is nice. Either I get educated or they get educated and if either of us can take something away from it, that's good for me.
I pull around 2,000lbs worth of grain and water in one container two or three times a day. We pull a lot of weight around here, but there's also a lot of downtime. There's times where I'll be sitting there for 30 – 45 minutes waiting for a certain cycle to complete. As hard as the work is, a lot of people don't realize there is some downtime. That’s the beauty of this industry, you have to work hard but you get to play hard too.
Go on a hike, take the dog out to the beach, BBQ, I like to keep it pretty mellow. I've got a motorcycle so whenever I can go and ride that's always nice during the summer. Keep it mellow for the most part, friends, family, good food, great beer.
A Modelo when I was 12 or 13 down in Mexico with my parents. The first craft beer I had was Racer 5 from Bear Republic, so I got spoiled. I have an older brother who always hooked it up with the good stuff.
Dirty glassware. I was working with Fig behind the bar for the last three years before I started working here as a brewer. One thing I learned was how to keep glassware clean so when I go to other breweries or tap rooms and I see a glass with bubbles stuck to the side of it, I notice it right away.
I like pairing beer with spicy food. I wouldn't say one cuisine or another, I just like spice in general. It could be sushi with a nice lager or carne asada with a subtle IPA. I love spice and spicy food and beer go hand in hand.
I drink it all man. My parents distil tequila and mescal down in Mexico, so I definitely have a passion for spirits. I also love wine, I'm a member at a couple wine clubs. I'll also take a good whisky or rum. The only thing I really don’t drink is syrupy stuff like Jagermeister. I'd call myself a little bit of a snob when it comes to wine and spirits.
I don't, but I do have a tequila tattoo. That's definitely one in the works though.
I'm a pretty good cook. That's definitely my second passion and it goes hand in hand with beer and everything I get to do here.