Our mission at AmericanCraftBeer.com is simple. We want to have fun…Celebrate the Industry….And drag a whole new generation down the road to ruin at the same time…
My name is Tom Bobak and I’m the Founder & Editor-In-Chief of AmericanCraftBeer.com.
I come from 25 years of “living the life,” having done major label work at some great places, Virgin Records, Geffen records, and the EMI label group to name a few…
I enjoyed some great music, hung out with some fun people, and did almost everything to excess… I eventually decided it was time to grow up, clean up my act a bit, and become a more responsible member of society…
So now I’m down to two vices… but in for the long run… Serious Beer & Serious Fun!
And that’s what AmericanCraftBeer.com is all about.
Jeff Chenault is our Creative Director. I met Jeff through music industry friends and it took me a year and a half just to chase him down and hold his attention long enough to make him part of this thing. Jeff’s an award-winning art director and graphic designer who’s sole purpose in life seems to be making this world less crappy looking. He comes to us with some reputation in The Biz. He’s created the album art, imaging, photographs, and music videos for some of the music industry’s biggest artists…. and because we come from the same world, we think alike & get each other. He’s younger than me, but equally troubled and a perfect fit to what we’re doing here. When he’s not dealing with official ACB design duties or generally getting into trouble, he’s running his own design firm and saving the day, creatively, for all sorts of more respectable clients. Check out his “other job” here – www.eleven07.com
Nick Villaume is our Director of Media and Event Production and his decision to join us could be the worst mistake he ever made. Nick’s a digital Samurai, one of the best Joomla! programmers in the world and responsible for untold things happening just behind the scenes on the American Craft Beer matrix. He also brings a wealth of experience and a much needed voice of reason and sobriety to our sometime’s over the top operation… Nick’s “lived the life” and decided he’s done. He’s a card carrying AA member and an active sponsor to many in need in the Atlanta area. When Nick’s not dealing with ridiculous ACB site demands or just keeping us out of trouble, he’s running his own successful website development firm. Check out his “other job” here – www.thedevdepartment.com
Amber Medin is our Co-Editor and Director of Social Media. She joined our team as our first Texas correspondent back in September of 2012, and as Tom always intimates, is quietly working to take over the company as the head of ACB’s social media arm. When she’s not hijacking brilliantly crafted websites, she can be found overindulging in food news or overspending on beer and beercations. A former food writer and Virginia wine snob, she’s now using her grammatical powers and imbibing instincts for good as an advocate of the craft beer industry. Or at least that’s what we keep telling her so she’ll fix our typos.
Warren Wills has been hunting big game beers since 1995 when he first sampled New Belgium’s Fat Tire as an under-aged beggar at Colorado State. Since then, he’s served overseas in the Army, traveled near and far across North America working as a traveling fraternity consultant via Chicago, created fight clubs as a longshoreman in Japan and daily assists over 120 customers count their pennies as a personal banker. He’s seen it all and is willing drink most anything put in front of him. He’s managed to survive the past 15 years living mostly in Southern California, Chicago, Minneapolis and Portland, OR where he currently resides. Writer and editor of Hoppinessis.com since 2010 and contributor to Beerzenjournal.com, a print journal based in Osaka Japan.
Matt Lyman (if that’s his real name…), our Director of Sales and Marketing, is a writer of many things: articles, plays, copy, books. He once wrote a book that you may have heard of: A Tale of Two Cities. Matt is also a liar. He was brought onboard to be a voice for the Northwest and all we’ve received so far is complaints from fine drinking establishments that he needs to stop trying to drink their IPAs straight from the tap. Currently working in the Marketing department of a Financial Services company, Matt blows off steam by writing, reading, cycling and drinking the finest beers that the Northwest has to offer. A reformed PBR drinker, he is happy to say that he has found the light, and the light is bitter and hoppy.
REGIONAL Correspondents & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Sophie Atherton is proof time spent drinking beer isn’t time wasted. ACB’s Britain Correspondent – who joined us in August 2014 – used her 25 years experience of drinking the good stuff to become the first woman in the UK to be accredited as beer sommelier. Soon after her name echoed down the corridors of power… No, not because of a drunken misdemeanour! Because the British Parliament’s all-party beer group made her their Beer Sommelier of the Year. She’s also an experienced journalist and broadcaster who runs beer tastings around the UK as well as writing and speaking about beer everywhere from the broadsheet press and specialist magazines, to the BBC and Channel 4, as well as on her own blog A FemAle View. You can also keep up with Sophie on Twitter @SophWrites.
Kevin Bastian, who has yet to meet a hop he didn’t want to befriend, joined ACB as the Chicagoland Correspondent in December 2013. From the hotbed of his hometown Chicago down to sprouting Indianapolis up to Beer City U.S.A. in Michigan, he feels most alive when visiting new breweries and bars, and sharing his experiences through creative writing and photography on his Pour Man website. A true believer in beer karma, Kevin doesn’t let a week go by without picking up a new release for friends, pouring them beers from his cellar or collaborating on a homebrew. He also helps plan events and grow awareness for Chicago’s suburban craft beer scene with Ale to the Burbs, a group of local beer bloggers.
Katie Burnside is an Orange County native and sixth-generation Californian. She discovered her passion for beer at an early age while on a trip to the Beer Mecca–Germany. Katie has taken a keen interest in the beer industry and was drawn to the craft beer scene like a moth to the hop-infused flame. Working as a social media manager for a large software company, Katie uses her social media marketing talents to stay on top of all things craft beer and scour the great state of California for the most sour and hoppiest beers on the market. One day, she hopes to be the lead marketer at a start-up brewery and help build its reputation from the ground up.
Juliana Casale couldn’t be more thrilled to join ACB as a Boston Correspondent. When she’s not busy chatting up bartenders and exploring the bottoms of tulip glasses (what? it’s research!) she can be found working downtown at a kickass content marketing startup and grumbling about the Hub’s lack of happy hours. Juliana’s other hobbies include participating in offbeat activities (2012: falconing, dogsledding, zombie 5K), mocking the grammatically disabled and praying for the return of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Her affections can be bought with a Belgian tripel or a Twitter follow @attackofthetext.
Jessica Fender’s vagabond ways brought her to the craft beer hotbed of San Francisco, where she somehow conned ACB into making her Bay Area correspondent. As an award-winning print journalist who wrote her way across the country for a decade-plus, Jessica has never met a pint glass or a story she couldn’t get to the bottom of. In the early aughts, she graduated from building beer-a-mids out of Natty Lite cans to big girl brew, particularly anything barrel aged or wild. These days, she writes about beer, travel and whatever else catches her fancy – when she’s not chatting up distributors or trying her hand at homebrewing. Got a tip? Tweet @Oh_Fender.
Jeanna Malines joined ACB as our Florida Correspondent in January of 2013. A reformed wino originally from Sonoma, CA, Jeanna caught the “beer bug” a few years ago… and she was hooked! Now, when she’s not thinking about beer, talking about beer or writing about beer she is brewing beer. While she occasionally puts in an appearance at her “real job,” you can often find her at her favorite homebrew shop, in the middle of a mosh pit at some metal/punk show, or chanting along with The Ruckus at an Orlando City Soccer game.
Chris Pavetto is a jack of many trades, but a master of only one: loving beer. Based in Washington, DC, he’s part techie, writer, grad student, homebrewer, talentless guitar player, and an all-around beer enthusiast. Chris will work for beer, literally – we once dangled a case of Dogfish Head in front of him and he worked for 72 hours straight. Now, he keeps up a day job at a software development company, goes to school for his MBA at night, and contributes to ACB in between. He hopes to one day land a real job in the craft beer industry, but we’ve got enough beer on hand to keep him going for a while.
Dave Stratton is an artist many times over, but like many talented people in LA he doesn’t have much to show for it. He abandoned drawing after high school when note taking caused his pen strokes to look like bathroom graffiti on an etch-a-sketch. In college, he found the three loves of his life: craft beer, his spouse, and improvised comedy. Dave transformed his artistic ability like Optimus Prime at the Louvre by shifting his craft to improvised comedy, writing, and creating digital media. You can often find him playing a robot Jack Tripper on the all robot cast of Three’s Company Live on various stages around Hollywood.
When Anthony Towey was grabbing Budweisers out of his dad’s cooler in high school and drinking his friends under the table during college, he had no clue his love for beer could actually lead to a formidable career choice. Hailing from the Delmarva Peninsula, the home of Dogfish, Anthony has been spearheading a marketing effort to boost his area’s craft beer reputation since 2013, and is on a mission to let the world know Delmarva has much more to offer beer lovers than the iconic brews made by Sam Calagione and company. The rare times he’s not doing hands-on research at breweries and taprooms, Anthony serves as the editor and social media manager of ShoreCraftBeer.com and OceanCity.com.
Dan Varricchio lives in Boston and spends his daytime hours as a social worker for a child welfare agency in Massachusetts; however, his love and passion is beer. Dan’s first experience with beer was when he was about 6 years old. His grandfather loved one beer and that was Schaefer, and he remembers going with his mom to the local store to pick up a couple cases to bring home. Dan likes to sample new beers, tour breweries, attend beer fests, and find the next new beer store. Prior to writing for ACB, he wrote his own beer blog. In his free time, he loves spending time with his wife and daughter and traveling.