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Kevin O'Donnell

What inspired you to do the Brewlab course?
I was inspired by my family and friends to pursue a dream. England and other countries in Europe are the birthplaces of many unique styles of beer. Going to Brewlab, I was in close proximity to these craft beer cultures.

What areas of the Brewlab course were most beneficial to you?
Brewlab does a great job at encompassing all the areas one would need to start or work for a brewery. Along with the core classes, they bring in experts in marketing, finance, etc. to provide a full scope of running a business.

How beneficial did you find the practical side of the Brewlab course?
Much of what I learned with Brewlab has provided the groundwork of my professional knowledge, since my course I have been able to continue to grow through experience.

Was there a part of the course you particularly liked/enjoyed?
I really enjoyed the tours that were organized for us during the course. We visited Muntons Malt and also an adjunct production facility. Many brewers never see how their ingredients are made. Visiting a maltster opened my eyes to all the factors that can affect our ingredients and production.

Where do you work now?
Currently, I work with Lagunitas Brewing Company, at our new brewery in Chicago, IL. Before that I worked at Magic Hat Brewing in South Burlington, VT.

What is your position?
I am a brewer.

How much beer do you produce?
Quite a bit. I work with a team of brewers to produce beer on a 250bbl brewhouse. We currently have forty 750bbl fermenters, with another forty and a second brewhouse coming soon.

Do you have a recipe you are most proud of?
I think I’m most proud of some recipes our class came up with for the festivals we attended while at BrewLab. I would like to think that people still talk about the American black IPA we brought to the Newcastle Cask Beer Festival, Wooly Back. We got some good reactions about that one.

What plans do you have for the future?
When the time is right, I would love to take on the challenge of opening a brewery of my own. But right now, I want to keep expanding my knowledge and continue doing what I love.

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