Co-Founder and Brewer Kyle Hurst
Kyle is originally from Wisconsin. Wisconsinites are fiercely passionate about their beer. Like so many of his peers, Kyle’s beer drinking career began at a tender age. After discussing this new lifestyle choice with a judge at the local courthouse, Kyle found that he also enjoyed giving back to the community. However, it wasn’t until well after he was on the right side of the law that Kyle tasted a friend’s homebrew and became aware of the many possibilities that beer possessed. Beer drinking could be an event for all the senses, so his mouth invited his eyes and nose to the party. Seeing Kyle’s intrigue, his wife bought him his first homebrew kit as a Father’s Day gift the following June. He brewed on and off in the subsequent years, trying as many different styles as he could. Despite his home state’s tradition of beer appreciation, variety was not very large part of Wisconsin’s commercial beer landscape at that time.
In 2008, a change in employment brought Kyle to New York where he was introduced to Robby Crafton, a young man with a passion for beer and the environment. The two of them soon found themselves experimenting with beer recipes that incorporated any available ingredients that were local, organic, or both. In August of 2011 they entered a homebrew contest in the lower level of the Empire State Building, where they featured their light Belgian ale with raisins under the moniker “Mr. Shnogwattem.” Turns out other people liked their beer, too. They ended the night on stage accepting the people’s choice award. This experience, along with a thirst to bring their craft to the public, provided the impetus for Big Alice Brewing.
Co-Founder Scott Berger
Scott’s early experiences with beer were not dissimilar to the average. He became awkwardly acquainted with it in high school, and then things got hot and heavy in college. But before long there was a problem: Scott’s beer life was getting stale. In those days, it seemed that if you had tried one beer that you had tried them all. Even the exotic Canadian model (Labatt Blue) was failing to excite him any longer. Scott began flirting with wine and, increasingly desperate, with gin and tonics. Those were dark days.
One very long decade later, Scott noticed that the landscape was beginning to blossom with heady new beer options. What was once commodity was now craft. He started attending beer festivals and brewery tours with Kyle and Robby. Scott sought out local breweries with refreshing flavors spread across the U.S. wherever he traveled for work or pleasure. It was as if he’d died, gone to heaven, and found 40 beers waiting for him there all sweaty with condensation. Scott brings his passionate entrepreneurial spirit and lust for small batch ales to Big Alice Brewing in a way that is both forceful and gentle.
Beer is sexy. Scott’s wife now thinks that he is sexy, too.
Assistant Brewer Jon Kielty
Jon first developed a taste for Yeungling at age 16 (no wait, make that 21) which is a national treasure in his home state of Pennsylvania. When he moved to Boston, a whole new world of craft beer awaited him starting with Sam Adams, followed by Harpoon, and Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project. Talk about a life-changing experience! Those beers transformed Jon’s beer perspective and peaked his interest in homebrewing.
Like Kyle, Jon’s first brew kit was a gift from a thoughtful relative. But the kit recipe wasn’t interesting enough for his increasingly sophisticated tastes, so Jon upped the ante by adding additional tropical hops to make the brew more complex and personal. Before long, captivated by the art and science of beer craft, Jon began developing his own recipes with the goal of one day breaking into the craft beer industry.
After moving to New York City in 2012, Jon began looking for a brewing apprenticeship at the advice of a brewer he met at a local festival. That led to the moment when he connected with Big Alice Brewing. After serving as apprentice for 10 months, Jon joined the team full time as Assistant Brewer in 2014. He is grateful for every day he gets to pull on his brewer’s boots to do what he loves. Jon credits his glorious beard for providing most of his brewing prowess.