Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

Meet the Brewer: Andre Espinoza

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

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How long have you been with Figueroa Mountain?

I've been with Figueroa Mountain since 2013. 

How did you get involved with brewing and how did you become a part of Figueroa Mountain?

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.

What's your favorite part of the job?

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.

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

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.

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What is your favorite thing to do around Santa Barbara?

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.

What was the first beer you ever had?

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.

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Do you have any beer snob pet-peeves?

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.

What's your favorite food to pair with beer?

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.

Are you strictly a beer guy, or do you like other drinks too?

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.

Do you have any beer related tattoos?

I don't, but I do have a tequila tattoo. That's definitely one in the works though.

Do you have any hidden talents?

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.

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