When Neil Fallon hired his first head brewer at American Brewing, he went with experience.
He’s now going with youth.
After handing over control of the Edmonds Brewery to longtime brewer and Northwest icon Skip Madsen when it opened in 2011, the American Brewing CEO decided to hire a new head brewer last month in Adam Frantz.
Fallon said Madsen is no longer with American Brewing.
Frantz, 34, worked as a production brewer at Mac and Jack’s Brewery in Redmond for the past three years, but has never run his own brewery. He’s been getting up to speed at American Brewing over the past few weeks.
“There’s been some highs and lows,” Frantz said. “I had to make some executive decisions right away so it was kind of a slam into reality. I’m the guy now that everyone turns to.”
It’s been a busy month for Fallon and American Brewing, which acquired Búcha, a brand of certified organic sparkling kombucha drinks, from California-based B&R Liquid Adventure.
Frantz, who grew up in Vermont, was a home brewer before he took the job at Mac and Jack’s, taking home second place at the National Organic Brewing Challenge for a double IPA.
The young brewer already has big plans to increase American’s barrel-aging program and eventually start a sour program. He said he recently threw some of American Brewing’s oatmeal stout in Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels and is planning on releasing a summer saison.
Frantz, who has a degree in biology, said he appreciates the science behind beer while also experimenting with different elements.
“I’ve lately been interested in spruce tips instead of hops for the bittering agents,” Frantz said. “I’ve been kind of picking at for a while.”
Frantz has a wife, Genny, and an 18-month-old son, Mateo.
Madsen, who was the head brewer at Pike Brewing, Boundary Bay Brewing and Big Time Brewing before coming to American, spent three years at the Edmonds Brewery. While there he developed American’s flagship beers Breakaway IPA, Caboose Oatmeal Stout, American Blonde, and other beers like IPO IPA and Big Bad Plaid Scotch.
Read more about Frantz in The Daily Herald’s Craft Beer Special Section out April 24.