Have you ever wondered who the man is hiding amongst the fermenters? The one who works tirelessly to brew all the craft beer and awesomeness behind the scenes? That man is Zack Stoll, our head brewer and tap room jack of all trades. Zack not only describes himself as head brewer of Historic Brewing Company, but also as head maintenance man, head landscaper, head firefighter, and Lauren’s (our Sales & Taproom manager) emotional support dog.
Zack first started with Historic four years ago as a brewer’s assistant and has been our head brewer for over a year. He moved to Flagstaff five years ago from California where he was working for the forest service and home brewing in his spare time. However, his love for craft beer began many years before that. While attending college and playing rugby in Pennsylvania, he had his first craft beer and once he realized there was more than “piss beer” out there to drink, there was no going back.
Zack took a home brewing course in college where he created his first beer, an Amber Ale aptly named the Fundy Fog after the fog that rolls off of the Bay of Fundy. While Zack says he didn’t receive an A in this class due to his lack of attendance in lectures, the labs where he learned the science and got to brew his own beer peaked his interest enough to come back to home brewing later in life.
Before coming to Historic, Zack was winning awards for his home brewing and making up to ten gallons a week to keep up with demand from friends and family who loved his beer. Zack got into home brewing and eventually brewing for Historic based on his love for craft beer, the science behind brewing, and his desire to create the beers that he wanted to drink. As a head brewer Zack is a patient teacher, a great mentor, and an overall goofball who makes the brewery a great place to work. Victor Samaniego, one of our brewer’s assistants, describes working with Zack as “just fun, there’s no other way to describe it. It’s hard work but the vibe that Zack creates in the brewery makes it super enjoyable.”
You’ll often find Zack at the brewery jamming out to pop punk, messing with whoever is around, and planning out his next beer. Zack’s favorite beer to brew is Oceanfront Lager because of the precision it takes to keep the flavors just right so that the beer is as he describes “delicious, light but flavorful, very drinkable, and with a little noble hops citrus to it.” Although Zack likes to experiment and keep things fresh, he also loves the more traditional styles and aspects of brewing and he especially loves brewing IPAs because he gets to work with a lot of hops.
One of Zack’s favorite beers to drink to drink in the summer is the Troegs Dreamweaver Hefeweizen from back home in Pennsylvania, and if he’s not behind the towering fermenters you can find him fly fishing, hiking, biking or out looking for wild mushrooms. Zack brings a sense of character to the brewery that not only increases the experience for everyone who gets to work and learn from him, but also to all of the customers that get to enjoy his creations and the devotion that he puts into making craft beer.