Meet Your Maker

Matt Freeland
Head Brewer
McMenamins On the Columbia

Matt is the brewer for McMenamins on the Columbia (MOTC). He has also worked at the East Vancouver, West Linn and Edgefield locations. He joined the company in May 2009, starting as a host and then server. From his post at the host stand at MOTC, Matt watched his predecessor brew. He was soon helping brew on a regular basis. After job-shadowing and assisting in the creation of the beer Hoppy Holidaze at MOTC, he became the seasonal brewer at the East Vancouver location in 2011. Matt FreelandThough he has had the opportunity to brew at a few of the McMenamins breweries, he enjoys getting to work around the same colleagues he started with as a host at his current location. After kicking his beer-soaked boots off at the end of the day, he enjoys getting outside to play soccer with his old high school team, and playing disc golf at one of the many courses in the area. His first McMenamins experience was at a friend's 21st birthday at Kennedy School when he was 19. The ability for his friends to bar hop and not worry about driving or a place to stay impressed him and drove his desire to become part of McMenamins.

He enjoys brewing porters because of the diversity of malts that can be blended to create rich flavors. His true favorite brews to make are not of one style, but a mosaic of different styles combined to create a unique profile. A grapefruit-infused IPA/wheat beer called "What's Wheating Gilbert Grapefruit" is his proudest brew. The recipe was derived from a homebrew production he concocted for his best friend's wedding, and had an overwhelmingly positive response when he made it at MOTC.

It took Matt four years to use the homebrew kit he received from his mother on his 21st birthday, but after the first batch, his passion was secured. Matt catered his education to work somewhere in the beer industry; but, it was teachers and mentors that influenced him to become a brewer.  He advises anyone with the same goals to not get discouraged; he says it can be difficult to obtain a brewing position, but it's worth it once you're working your dream job. His Beer 102 teacher at UNLV once explained to him, "Brewing is a science and an art. In both aspects mistakes are part of the process. Document what you do and learn from the errors." The history surrounding brewing and its involvement in so many cultures and civilizations is what inspires Matt to create his libations.


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