Meet Steve Breezley, New COO of Ska Brewing
Steve Breezley was just recently announced to be the new Chief Operating Officer of Ska Brewing in Durango, Colorado! Before relocating to Durango, Breezley spent his last 14 years in Boulder. He was first a brewer and more recently the COO of Avery Brewing. He’s been a long-time Great American Beer Festival judge. He’s also an active member of both the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and the American Society of Brewing Chemists.
“We’ve always admired Breeze’s work, and by that I mean that we’ve consumed copious amounts of the beers he’s been responsible for over the years,” said Dave Thibodeau, President and CEO of Ska.
Steve Breezley began his career in the craft beer industry in the mid 90’s. He graduated from the Master Brewer Program at UC Davis. He also passed the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD)’s Diploma in Brewing Examination (IBD DBE) in London, England. Having passed the examination is quite the significant achievement. It’s an internationally recognized standard of achievement and professional qualification within the industry. He’s shared with us some of his favorites part about this industry and his passion behind his successful career within it:
What was your favorite part about being at a brewery?
I started on a packaging line in 1995, and I still love bottling and canning. As much as enjoy the hot side of things, there is something so fulfilling about emptying a brite tank at the end of a long day of packaging. I just helped out on a canning shift at Ska the other day, and it was really fun.
What drove the transition from being a brewer to COO at Avery?
I really enjoy working with people, and helping them become the best that they can be at something. Over time, I found myself in management roles which enabled me to do this while still making beer, and it was a dream come true.
How did you get started/what interested you about the craft beer industry initially?
Like so many people, I was a home brewer, but as I mentioned, my first job at a brewery was in packaging. I started at Saxer Brewing Co. in Oregon, and I erected six-packs, and taped cartons for hours before I ever even saw any of the beer. When I finally was involved in other parts of the operation, I was sold. The next thing I knew I was at UC Davis in the Master Brewer’s Program!
What advice would you give someone trying to get into the industry?
Be open minded about doing whatever it takes to get your foot in the door, but be patient then. I also would emphasize that no matter how small the operation, it’s a “team” mentality in a brewery, and you should always be helping others succeed as well. This is key to taking on more and more responsibility.
What are you most excited about with your transition to Ska Brewing?
Truly becoming part of their tribe. They welcomed me in so quickly, and shared so much with me, I can’t wait to be returning the favor…and be drinking more Mexican Logger with them!
What’s your favorite Ska brew?
What time of day is it? First beer of the afternoon I find myself grabbing a Pils World, but while I’m cooking dinner a Modus Mandarina often fits the bill, or if I’m at the Container (our taproom), I’m usually ending my evening with one of Joe’s new brewhouse sours from our MOD brewery.
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