Most brewers get their start elsewhere; sales, engineer, ski bum, atom splitter or like Rob, it was with a PhD in organic chemistry designing controllably photodegradable dendrimer/polymeric systems. Say that five times fast. Rob's career took him to focusing on secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) for analysis of wafer defects and process control. Which is where most people lose understanding and where Rob started home-brewing. Tommyknocker’s Maple Nut Brown sparked Rob’s taste buds in college with the sweet malty character, a flavor profile that is still his favorite. Rob consulted with some of the best brewers and cellarmen across the US and was humbled by their constructive criticism while learning the finer points needed to commercially brew and how to translate science into liquid gold (sometimes amber, brown and even chocolate black). Whether it was too much fancy mad scientist work or the magic of craft beer that pulled Rob into beer entrepreneur, might never be clear, but what is clear is that one year from the day of working to raise money he and the Grist Team opened their doors.
Outside of still wearing his lab coats to clean kegs and a devious desire to still tour Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado for the first time (as a scientist looking to replicate a recipe that exact that many times) Rob the scientist is all but replaced with Rob the brewer and Rob the dad and avid runner, in no particular order.