Meet Deep Ellum Brewing Co.'s New Head Brewer, Jeremy Hunt

Categories: Brews News

JohnAndJeremyHunt.jpg
LDD
DEBC co-founder John Reardon and new head brewer Jeremy Hunt
It's a struggle to find new ways to describe the local beer industry -- the "budding craft beer scene" just feels so repetitive and overused at this point. I think it's safe to say it has, indeed, budded. It's beyond "budded." It's blossomed. It's gone through the entire pollination process. Cross-pollination perhaps too. The fruits of the labor have been celebrated time and time again. We like beer. Confirmed.

Deep Ellum Brewing Co. was one of the first in the local wave of new craft brewers (outside of Rahr and Franconia) in this blossoming affair and it has shot out of the gate in the two years since it opened.

"A year ago we were capable of brewing 1,000 barrels a year," explained Tait Lifto with DEBC. "Now we're up to 6,000 barrels a year."

Way back in November of 2011, Jesse Hughey reported on the brewery's launch at The Common Table: "So far, The Common Table is his only confirmed account, but he's working on getting more once the brewery begins distributing early next month."

Now, their beer is on tap at more than 350 restaurants and bars. And starting in July, DEBC beer will be sold at 31 area Krogers.

One of the obvious keys to success for any brewery is hiring a good recipe-maker. Pretty elementary, but sometimes it's the basic things that get lost in the hoopla. Early on DEBC hired Drew Huerter, who had craft beer in his veins -- his mom and dad founded the Kansas City Beer Meisters and the year baby Drew was brought into this world, his dad won a homebrewing national title. Needless to say, Huerter was (and is) a true craftsman of the trade.

But, back in April, Huerter parted ways with DEBC and speculation as to exactly why is probably best left for craft brewing threads. But it might be because at heart Huerter is a small craft brewing guy and DEBC is now four times bigger (at least) than it was when he signed on.

So, after an extensive search for a new brewer that involved a not-so-modest amount of wooing, DEBC has found its new head brewer: Jeremy Hunt.

Hunt found brewing while he was actually looking for God.

"I went to Austria to become a priest," Hunt says. "I left married and a brewer instead."

A graduate of theology school, Hunt is at very least a devout Catholic. In 2002 he hopped over to Austria to finish his studies where he learned that monks brewed beer. Soon he delved into the many regional beers and the affair began.

When he returned home to New Hampshire, he submitted applications to a bevy of breweries. Soon, he landed his first job, cleaning kegs, at Mercury Brewing Co. in Ipswitch, Massachusetts. He then took a brewing job at Red Hook Brewery in New Hampshire, and, most notably, he was the head brewer at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery under the distinguished Sam Calagione, from whom he learned the importance of an inclusive brewery.

"Sam really thought about things differently," Hunt says. "His philosophy for designing recipes was one that involved everyone. The brewery didn't have employees, but rather co-workers. He didn't want to take all the credit for things."

After his time at Dogfish Head, Hunt moved to Bluegrass Brewing Co. in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was the head brewer over their three brewpubs.

He looks forward to the move to Dallas, which hasn't actually happened yet. He's in town this week meeting people and exploring the brewery. He'll head back to Louisville soon to help pack up his family and head south.

As far as beer, Hunt is an advocate of the inclusive approach he learned at Dogfish Head. "I'm open to suggestions from everybody," Hunt says. "I like to riff back and forth. I come up with an idea, throw it out to someone else, they put their spin on it. In the end, we come up with something that is better than the sum of its parts.

"For now, I can't say exactly what that will be though. I've literally only been here two days. But, in general, I like to take old world traditions and put a unique American spin on them. And, God willing, it's a good thing."

One of the most important beers for Hunt is the IPA and that it stays solid, "We have to honor the feat of that recipe. It took 240 batches before they nailed it. We want to just continue setting the bar high for Dallas."

Hunt will have plenty of time to ponder recipes while driving a big truck with his wife and kids in tow halfway across the country. It's a big move for the brewer and his young family, and we can only hope he finds a hoppy new home at the first little big brewery in Deep Ellum.



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16 comments
dallasscarlson
dallasscarlson

The managers where rude when I said anything. I think this should be heard and known. If they don't care about customers or service then they don't need my business. If they don't want Chris name out there then they shouldn't condone him bashing other breweries.

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Congrats to DEBC for a good hire. Hopefully QC will be a major focus because while it's admirable that they've been through 240 recipes for the IPA (hop shortage blah blah blah) that doesn't mean they ALL should hit the streets. It's a world class IPA at its best and a total drain pour at its worst.

sunshinemolsen
sunshinemolsen

I was the one that originally made a call and a complaint, it wasn't even about Deep Ellum however I am not surprised. The problem was it made people feel uncomfortable with someone saying the things he did then selling us something, complaining about his own company. I didn't want my name or boss thrown out there for this reason, Ben e Keith wouldn't do anything without our names and I thought it was rude. I don't want to make enemies I thought they would want to know and so did my boss. He spoke to a couple of people and they all had the same problem with the same person. Good job Deep Ellum!!! We are all proud of you, sorry this became a forum for another issue but it really should be exposed, nobody should bully, there is plenty to go around. 

Edward
Edward

DE is fantastic! I think ever sales position is a sea of sharks, but I don't think that BK should allow this to happen. They should be setting the bar high for customer service, they are a huge company that would only loose from this. I would imagine they gave their salesman a pat on the back for putting down another beer. Too bad, I will keep buying my DE!!!!

Steve
Steve

DE was already a great brewery, and this is huge, great news.

johnreardondallas
johnreardondallas

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. All I can say, is this is the beer business. If we paid attention to every rumor or every bit of hearsay, we'd probably go insane. We're a tiny little Company in a sea of sharks - and a high profile one to boot. This is a major win for us at the brewery and a win for Texas craft beer in general. The fact that someone of Jeremy's pedigree is coming to Texas, says a lot for what we're doing down here. So, if a distributor really is bad mouthing our brand, it's only out of fear. In the end, good beer, a good brand, and the people who make it all possible are what truly matter. And I'd say we've got a nice trifecta brewing down at Deep Ellum. Cheers!

Tanya
Tanya

sounds like someone needs to man up and step forward. i read these but didn't comment and I think deep ellum should say something. 

jared
jared

lol they deleted all of the comments, good thing the giant ben e keith has pull to cover their tracks!

anotherwaitress
anotherwaitress

@sunshinemolsen you did the right thing! I sent an email after I knew you reached out too, its not professional, he also bags on other accounts, like craft and growler to name one lol. hang in there, those guys should listen we are the customers and pouring their product!!!!

justin
justin

@sunshinemolsen don't be sorry you complained. I use to work at BEK and this doesn't surprise me. I doubt they took your complaint seriously and I doubt anything happend to the rep. He is probably having beers with them now lol. Its sad that big companies don't care unless it effects their pocket book. There is a lot of good beer out there, lets just enjoy it and be merry! @johnreardondallas keep up the good work! I still would expect better out there from a large company.

dallasscarlson
dallasscarlson

Its good to know and should be known the facts of the company you patronize. That's usually how a lot of people make choices on what they spend their money on. Bringing it to ben e they should appreciate the info instead of deleting the comments

sunshinemolsen
sunshinemolsen

 @anotherwaitress @justin  Thanks but really we just want to support local beer like DEBC and others. We just know next time if you have a problem with their rep don't call the local office. We had questions one time about DEBC and they where super friendly in helping! @johnreardondallas they where fast to get back and very happy to help. We don't feel its appropriate to put down anyone when tap handles change all the time, it really is what the customers want. But when you get horrid customer service you start obtaining the ability to weed out companies. I doubt Budweiser will do anything and i guess the opinion of smaller companies are better is true, the local breweries are all friendly and don't put people in awkward positions. 

dallasscarlson
dallasscarlson

This guy is our rep where I work and he is a gem lol. He is fake as a politicians hand shake. He has a big mouth I have not heard him say that exactly but similar things.

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