Don Oliver, Head Brewmaster
Don’s industrious career began as a helicopter mechanic for the Marine Corps for five years. He later completed undergraduate studies in Business Administration and course work in the area of math and sciences. As a seasoned home brewer, Don was recognized as the Samuel Adams Longshot National Homebrew Competition winner in 2006 for his rendition of an Old Ale. With Dust Bowl Brewing Company on the horizon, he completed the UC Davis Master Brewers Program in 2008. Don was named the John S. Ford winner in 2008 recognizing his top score worldwide for the Diploma in Brewing Exams administered by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Since the launch of Dust Bowl Brewing Company, Don was recognized in a Draft Magazine article by Jim Koch, owner of Samuel Adams, as one of “Nine Beer Innovators to Watch” in the growing craft beer industry(Sept./Oct. ‘09). Don is responsible for daily operations at the brewery and recipe development.
Kevin Becraft, Assistant Brewer
Kevin came to us in June 2011 from Battle Creek, Michigan where he was the Assistant Head Brewer for Arcadia Brewing Company. His relocation to Central California was just another “good timing” fortune for Dust Bowl Brewing Co. Kevin brewed his first batch of beer in his parents’ basement back in 1997 and has been a brewing junkie ever since. At Arcadia, Kevin honed his professional brewing skills for three years through a range of experience in packaging, cellaring and brewing. Today, Kevin is Don’s right-hand man, assisting with daily brewing operations, inventory management and recipe development. He holds an AA degree from Essex Community College, Baltimore, Maryland and has dabbled in futon-making and massage therapy just to keep things interesting! Kevin also pulls a bartending shift now and then at the Tap Room, entertaining customers with his quick wit and beer knowledge.
Scott Chaffee, Brewery Representative
Crossing paths with old friends is usually a real cool thing. Such is the case with Scott Chaffee, our Brewery Representative, who joined the Dust Bowl team in March 2012. Scott and Don, our brewmaster, were actually buddies back in high school. Each charted similar courses, which circled back to a shared passion for craft beer. Scott studied business administration and organizational communications while serving four years in the Army Reserves Military Police. He’s been homebrewing since 2007 and served as the General Manager for beeronthewall.com, an online specialty beer retailer, for three years. As GM, Scott developed a broad knowledge of craft beer…the culture, the people, the industry. As Dust Bowl Brewing Co’s Brewery Rep, Scott is responsible for sales development, distributor and customer relations and building the overall brand in the marketplace. You might also find him talking up our brews at beer festivals and special events.