Don started making craft beer in 1978 at New Albion Brewery, America’s first new brewery since Prohibition. When Don started, budgets were tight and he lived in a small tent on the mountainside above the brewery. The beer and tent were literally his “Room & Board” – but he was doing what he loved.
After five years brewing at New Albion Brewery, he went on to help found the Mendocino Brewing Company in Hopland, Calif. which opened in 1983 and was the first brewpub in California. During his 25 years there as Master Brewer, Don became an icon in the craft beer industry, creating such legendary beers as Red Tail Ale and Eye of the Hawk.
Don now works at the Napa Smith Brewery in Napa. Don’s great-great-grandfather settled in the Napa Valley in the 1850’s as one of the very first hop farmers.