Meet the Brewer

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I got my start in this business working part time as the swamper of a dive bar in the Mission, my "real job" was a bike messenger. A series of events led to that bar's sudden demise and the unlikely opportunity for me to try my hand at opening a bar myself. While I didn't think of the bar business as my vocation, it sounded like fun ... and Zeitgeist was born.
The timing was great. Among other things, the micro brewery movement was in its infancy and yet to be taken seriously. There were great new beers that you couldn't get unless you were willing to drive out to the breweries yourself. Having a soft spot for good beer, I was willing. I'd take day trips out to these small breweries to pickup those otherwise unavailable kegs for Zeit and, as a bonus, I met beer zealots who made my love of beer feel pedestrian. I quietly envied those guys, they seemed to have a pretty good thing going.
After a couple more bars (The Rat & Raven in SF , and Southpoint Bar in Hi), I tried a career change as a programmer but quickly found it to be just a bit too dry.

Brewer Pic
Above, Peter (The Tank) Kruger, showing Peter (The Scrubber) Hackett the ropes.

I returned to the Bay area with the goal of transforming my love for beer into the fanatical lifestyle choice I'd witnessed years earlier. In 1997 Stumptown was open and upon permit approval (four years later) we needed to find the right brewer.
When I met Kruger he told me he could brew. "Of course you can brew", I said, "but can you teach me to brew?"
"I could teach a monkey to brew", he replied and was hired on the spot.
I then began my brewing apprenticeship where I earned the title "scrubber". Even I'm surprised how many years it took me to go from swamper to scrubber.
Towards the end of 2005, after four (long) years of following Kruger around like a bad smell, we kicked him to the curb.

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