Meet the Team – Brian Priefer

What is your official title at Hop & Barrel?

Chief Operating Officer/ Co-Founder

What does a typical day look like for you?

I like to roll in around noon and get some cocktails going. I start with a bloody and then if it is Monday-Wednesday, I move on the bourbon drinks, but if its Thursday – Saturday I go straight for Tiki rum drinks. After that I check my email and completely at random, I delete exactly half of them- I round up if it’s an odd number. I play a little guitar, skateboard around the brewery, then more drinks, then I go up to the loft above the taproom and play my drums for a while. I come back down and find something arbitrary to yell about at whomever is closest to me. My theory is if you have time to clean, shut up and clean.

In all seriousness, I make sure day to day operations are running smoothly. I ensure the brew team has what they need- spare parts or something to make their lives easier and the brewery more efficient. I help to trouble shoot brewing or mechanical issues. I handle the flow of anything that goes in and out of the brewery- raw ingredients, cans, labels, chemicals, and beer out. We don’t have very much cold storage on site, so we use a facility about 20 minutes from the brewery to store some of our product. I check in on sales invoices, handle accounts receivable and make sure we’re getting paid by our customers. I do sales for a few accounts around town and help advise the sales team. I do almost all of the purchasing for the brewery- the brew team handles malt orders now. We have 2 additional (alternating proprietorship)breweries brewing out of our facility at the moment, so I check in on the production schedule to make sure its flowing well, though the brew team does an amazing job with the tank logistics and mostly handles that. I wrangle the brewery and sales software making sure that the back end is tidy and the systems are functioning properly so we can invoice our customers and ensure our sales team is running smoothly. You can find me beer tending in the taproom on most Friday nights. I try to keep Justin in check and make sure he doesn’t do dumb things and name the beers dumb names. I mostly sit at a desk all day and listen to heavy metal while typing and clicking around on a computer, occasionally yell at people, try to avoid manual labor, make sure the brewery runs smoothly. I say yes or no and have to explain why. Big picture stuff. Something 5 years ago me would have turned his nose up at, but I’m old as dirt now and don’t mind it.

How did you come to be a part of the Hop & Barrel team?

Justin and I met about 5 years ago, about 2 years ago he approached me about helping him get a brewery going. I consulted at first and quickly realized that Justin had his shit together so we teamed up to build Hop & Barrel.

What makes Hop & Barrel unique?

We’re kind of in our own little microcosm out here. We’re just far enough from the cities to not really be included in that scene, but just close enough to the cities to attract the masses. We’ve tried hard to create a culture within our ranks of communication and inclusivity. This brewery is very much a group effort. Everyone has their role to play, but everyone is included in nearly all of the decision making if possible/feasible. Hop&Barrel’s taproom is a community center that sells beer. We’ve focused on charity, giving back to the community that has embraced us from the get-go, family and inclusivity of all beer drinkers, their children and pets. Everyone is welcome here.

Why craft beer and brewing?

I didn’t choose craft beer and brewing, it chose me.

What is your favorite Hop & Barrel beer?

Space Force or any of the lagers we make. We make awesome lagers.

Tell us something people may not know about you:

I’ve had a million jobs/side hustles. Puppeteer, fire hydrant painter, sandwich artist, bagel baker, truck unloader, overnight gas station attendant, professional artist, customs/logistics broker, construction worker, truck driver, dispatcher, warehouse manager, brewer, brewery consultant, salesman, bartender, umpire/referee, house painter, karaoke DJ, trivia MC, sound guy…etc

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