Brewery Crew Profiles: Brady Harris

Giving the Full, 100 Percent with Brady Harris

By Bill Mickelson

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Last year, around this time and into the summer, Brady Harris was a ridiculously busy guy.

Most days, he would start at 5 a.m. as a personal trainer for clients at The Factory Fitness Center--a warehouse gym in West Bremerton which he was partner in starting up. Then he would work a full day at the brewery, 11 a.m. til around 6 p.m., and from there, he would coach youth baseball for the West Hills Vipers select club until about 9 p.m.  

Then, go home, go to sleep, wake up and do it all again the next day.

He’s coming up on his second anniversary with Silver City in February and was our crew member of the month for January.

While his schedule has lightened slightly as he takes a break from coaching, Brady has recently taken on more responsibility at the brewery as a newly designated packaging lead, taking on the role of filling, organizing and overseeing the thousands of cases of bottles and cans produced at Silver City each week. This past month he’s been getting intimate with Silver City’s newly up-and-running in-house canning machine, getting stoked on the upcoming debut of Tropic Haze and still training at The Factory five days a week.    

I stopped in for a training session one morning before work this past week and learned more about Brady’s background, workouts and all around badassery. 

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BILL: WHAT WAS IT THAT YOU SAID YOU WENT TO SCHOOL FOR? 
Brady: “Kinesiology. But that degree turned into Exercise Science ‘cause I transferred to a different school. So Kinesiology, you could be like a P.E. teacher, but Exercise Science, you’ve seen those commercials where there’s people running on treadmills with all that electronic stuff hooked up to them, like gatorade commercials… the other school had that technology, and I was like, that’s awesome.”

WAS THAT SCHOOL IN IOWA? 
“Yeah. Two Iowa schools and they were right in the same town, like two or three minutes away from each other. I thought, you know, I don’t like this school, I don’t want to be a P.E. teacher, cause P.E. teachers are pretty much babysitters, so I went over there where they did personal trainers, and I was like f*** yeah, I want to get strong.” 

WHAT DO YOU DO ON DAYS LIKE TODAY WHEN IT’S JUST YOU?
“Well, it’s not always just me. Tuesday/Thursday are kind of my workout days, but I give people the option. I have like three-day clients and then I have maybe a three-to-four day client, so Tuesday/Thursday gives them the option if they miss, like on a Monday because nobody wants to wake up and come in on Monday, they can come in and get their spare day. But Tuesday/Thursdays are more me. If anything people come in at 8 or 9 and done by 11.” 

PERFECT, CAN YOU TRAIN ME? 
“Train you?”

YEAH, I’LL BE LIKE A ONE-DAY CLIENT…
“A one-day client,” he laughs.

HAVE YOU BEEN A TRAINER ANYWHERE ELSE OR IS THIS YOUR FIRST GIG?
“This is my first gig. Probably first and only. I don’t like the gym setting of like a Snap Fitness or something. Something you’ve gotta wear like a polo to. I like this, raw gym, grungy kind of thing. It’s more my style, strength training. I guess dead-lifting and all that kind of stuff. That boxing atmosphere I guess you could call it.” 

I FEEL IT. YOU’RE IN A WAREHOUSE. INDUSTRIAL. GRITTY. REGGAE MUSIC. 
“It’s cold as s***. In the YMCA it’s gonna be warm, you go in, get your pot of coffee and go talk to people and blah, blah, blah… You come in here, you just get to work. Basically you get going, so you can get warm.” 

“So what do you wanna do, man?”

ALL OF IT. I’M A ONE-DAY CLIENT, SO WE’VE GOT TO DO IT ALL IN ONE DAY… AND I THINK I HAVE LIKE 45 MINUTES BEFORE I HAVE TO GO TO WORK. 
“Cool… we’ll just touch every machine. Just lift every machine. All of it. Right. So… uh… let’s go row. Let’s go get the body warm.” 

[We head to the stationary rowing machines and start moving.]

“Some people run, some people, I don’t know, stretch…. I row. It’s good to row and get a good sweat going. Basically by the time people are done doing 500 meters on this, they can take their sweatshirt off and they’re ready to go.” 

SO YOU STARTED HERE BEFORE WORKING AT SILVER CITY? HOW’D YOU FIND SILVER CITY OR HOW’D THEY FIND YOU?
“So Silver City, that’s where coaching became involved. I coached the West Hills Vipers (Kitsap select youth baseball). I was an assistant coach over there, and lo and behold little Jack Houmes (son of Silver City Brewery owner Scott Houmes) was there. So I met Scott and Sunny through that. I’d been training Sunny (Scott's wife). Scott came around, he trained with Jesse (Cummings, owner of The Factory). And then Jesse and I both would train the athletes so Jack came in.” 

“I was only training until noon every day, so I was like, I want something to do, I’m bored. So… started looking for a second job and Sunny was like, why don’t you contact Scott, come into the brewery see what it’s like. So I talked to Scott, came in and saw the brewery. And I started, like two or three days a week.” 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH SILVER CITY? 
“It’ll be my second year in February.”

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
“Job title would be packaging lead… which I share with Uriah. He’s the morning guy and I’m like the afternoon/night guy. And, basically, what we do, we find our goal of bottles or cans we have to do for the next week or that day... We figure that out, make it happen, and basically, from start to finish, we finalize the product.”

“It’s a lead job which is nice. But yeah, it can be stressful. Then, in the night, I guess I’m kind of like the night Mel (distribution lead), or a night cellarman. So it’s pretty cool because I get to do almost everything. Like, last week, I washed kegs for like an hour straight, and I was totally fine with it because it’s nice to jump around.” 

WHAT ARE WE DOING NEXT? 
“Let’s do battle ropes.” 

BATTLE ROPES?! RAD.

WHAT KIND OF BEER WOULD YOU PAIR WITH THIS 7 A.M. WORKOUT? 
“Definitely like a nice citrus IPA… Something a little fruity to get the day going.” 

WHAT WERE THE NAME OF THOSE SCHOOLS IN IOWA? 
“First one was Clark University and the second one was University of Dubuque. Dubuque was the city, so the University of Dubuque would I guess be like their city college. But there was like four or five colleges in one little town. It was a party town for sure. The four-year universities, there were like three or four of those. Then you got some community ones. You even had like a bible church and even they still partied, you know…” 

DID YOU GO THERE TO PLAY BALL?
“Oh yeah… I wasn’t even gonna go to school and then some dude named Chad Harris, people thought he was my uncle, came hailing into OC to see three of my buddies, and said, ‘Any one else out here that wants to play ball?’ And they said, 'Well, there’s Brady. He throws hard. He’s a pitcher.’ So we went to Iowa on a recruiting trip. I threw bullpen and he was like, ‘Yeah. We can definitely use you.’ So I started doing all the scholarship stuff and an academic scholarship and it made sense, so I was like f*ck it, I’m gonna go play baseball.” 

HOW LONG DID YOU SPEND THERE? 
“Oh… three or four years. Baseball’s kind of what carried me. I probably wouldn’t have gotten the grades without it. Baseball has driven me my whole life, because if I didn’t get a C or B I wouldn’t be playing.” 

“Let’s move on to something else… let’s get some squats in.” 

YES, PERFECT QUESTION… HOW MUCH CAN YOU BENCH PRESS? 
“I’ll be honest, right now, I can probably bench 290, 290 right now. I’ve gotten to 300 before but my goal has always been 315. That means you get three 45’s on each side. That’s like my all time goal is to rep that out.” 

HOW MUCH CAN YOU SQUAT? 
“Right now I’m at about 385.” 

AND WHAT ABOUT DEADLIFT? 
Probably like 410. 

I THOUGHT I WAS MAKING THAT LAST ONE UP, THOSE ARE THE ONLY LIFTS I CAN REMEMBER THE NAMES OF. WHERE DID YOUR LOVE FROM THE GYM COME FROM? FROM BASEBALL? 
“Kind of… So at OC, we had like 90 guys trying out, freshman team baseball, very intimidating. Especially because I came from Belfair. I have this thing where I don’t think I’m good enough at some stuff when I actually am OK at it, so I was nervous as hell coming from lil’ town Belfair. We got kids coming from Seattle, Tacoma, all these kind of first-team kind of baseball people. And I went there, and they put us through this hell week. They put us through these speed agilities at like four or five in the morning, it was like a mental thing. Like if you couldn’t do it, we’re doing it over again. If someone didn’t get their knee low enough, we’re doing it over again. And I guess that’s what kind of pushed me. I was like ‘Hell yeah, if somebody’s telling me I can’t do something, I’m gonna prove them wrong that I can do it.’”

HOW DID COACHING COME ABOUT? 
“Coaching was another thing kind of like lifting, I wanted to give something back. I don’t know. I love the game of baseball. And I just like helping people.” 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU COACHED? 
“I actually just stopped this summer because three jobs is just too much. And I had to pick. I was basically not giving my 100 percent effort into baseball because I had two other jobs. It was like 60/60/60 or something like that, and I was just gassed. I was tired. But nowadays I do wish I could go back and coach.”

DID YOU EVER KNOW YOU’D END UP COACHING? 
“Oh yeah… It was always like after I hang up my cleats, I’m not gonna play softball, I’m gonna coach. But now I wanna play softball, kind of.”

TELL ME ABOUT THE NEW CANNING MACHINE. DOES IT HAVE A NAME YET? 
“Oh dude... It’s had Can Chancellor... um... it had something to do with Carmen Electra. But I don’t think we have a specific name. I think we’re trying to give it a name rather than a slogan. I think that’s the hardest part. Like Canatopia. I don’t know.”

YOU’VE BEEN CANNING THE RED, NICE DAY, COLD ONE 12-OUNCE TRIO LATELY… IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE COMING UP THAT YOU’RE STOKED TO CAN? 
“Tropic Haze, man. That’s a delicious beer, and the can is rad, and I can’t wait to try it, maybe shotgun the first can that comes off the line.” 

SO YOU GREW UP IN BELFAIR? 
“Yeah, I think was the only guy that didn’t have like a four-wheel-drive truck or a cowboy hat, I swear to god.” 

WHAT’D YOU DRIVE? 
“I had a Nissan Maxima. And that thing was pretty fast for a 16-year-old. It had a V6 in it and everything. It was my dad’s sports car at the time. But I let loose in that thing. Belfair. Small town. Yeah. Met my best friend there. Got a lot of friends there. That 10-year reunion’s coming up.”

WHAT DO YOU WANNA BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? 
“I’m chill with where I’m at right now. Doing the gym and the brewery. It’s what makes me happy, I mean, at times it’s stressful, some people think like you’ve got two jobs, or at the time you’ve got three jobs, but I’m doing what I love. And I’d rather spend my days doing that than sit in a cubicle or sit in a place where I’m like, ‘Man I wish I was doing something like training or working at a brewery.'” 

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Brewery Crew Profiles: Ian Campbell

Ian serving up a fresh dose of hot death metal

Ian serving up a fresh dose of hot death metal

Touring New Belgium Brewery while representing Silver City Brewery at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival

Touring New Belgium Brewery while representing Silver City Brewery at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival

“Waxing Poetic About Beer” with Brewer Ian Campbell

By Bill Mickelson

There’s a dramatic shift that takes place in the brewery every day around mid-afternoon. The frantic pace of the morning mellows out, the rush of a full staff dwindles down to the night crew, and the reggae and pop music on the stereo is replaced by heavy metal and hard rock. 

If you’ve ever wondered what the brewery is like in the after hours, you should talk to Ian Campbell. 

Ian is a lead brewer at Silver City, a sensei to the newer brewers and our crew member of the month for this past month. He has worked the night shift for almost two years and has been with Silver City for four and a half years.

I recently followed him around during his closing checklist one night. I got there right as he’d hung the last hose after this year’s first batch of Imperial Stout had been transferred from the brew system into the fermenter. 

It was 10 p.m. The brewery was nearly silent, and Ian was the last one there. 

[The following conversation has been edited for length, clarity and couth.]

 

BILL: WHERE’S THE METAL?

Ian: You just missed it. We were listening to Immortal’s ‘Sons of Northern Darkness’ earlier, just to make our upcoming Imperial Stout a little bit blacker. It’s going to be called Time Traveller.

SO THAT’S IT? HANGING YOUR LAST HOSE? 

Mmhmm… What are you doing here? 

I’M HERE FOR A BEER. ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR INTERVIEW?

Oh! Yeah…. Oh, that’s what you’re doing here! Just gotta shut the HLT pump off. (Ian walks beneath the brew house to shut off the pump that supplies the 180+ degree water throughout the brewery.) It’s nice when you shut that pump off. It’s so loud when it’s running.

(The brewery gets even quieter as the pump powers down.) 

SO WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED ON A NIGHT SHIFT? 

The cops showed up once. 

HOW’D THAT GO? 

Oh, just fine. He just showed up to the door because it was late and he saw the door was wide open as he was cruising by. He yelled, ‘Hello?’

I was like, ‘Hey, what up man? Guess what? I broke in, put on this uniform… and started brewing beer!’

NICE.

The fire department has shown up twice. One time, somebody called in our steam stack from the highway as a fire. And you know how those firefighters love the Saint Florian IPA so they showed right the [word that rhymes with truck] up. 

YOU’RE PROBABLY PRETTY GOOD AT DEALING WITH THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND COPS AND STUFF?

No, oh, no… well, nowadays… oh my god. We should have a beer while we do this… 

DEFINITELY.

I’m supposed to be going on a ‘cleanse,’ because the girlfriend wants to go on a cleanse. 

PERFECT. ME TOO. I’D IMAGINE IT’S [DARN] NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO GO ON A CLEANSE WORKING AT A BREWERY. YOU EVER TRIED TO GO ON A CLEANSE WHILE WORKING HERE? 

Never.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH SILVER CITY?

Four and a half years.

WHOA.

Yeah. The only other person who’s been here that long that isn’t in management is Jordan… Jordan trained me on the keg washer four and half years ago, pretty gnarly. Did you ever see the old keg washer with like 42 valves? 

NO. 

I think it’s still across the street. It was none of this computerized [stuff!] that you see nowadays.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE? WHAT’D YOU DO BEFORE THIS? 

I was a culinary adventurer. I worked at the Silver City restaurant where I operated what I call a “naughté sauté".... I was the naughtiest sauté cook. 

HMM… DO YOU THINK A POSITION THAT STILL EXISTS? 

I don’t know… by the way, what should we drink? 

THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

Hmm… What’s gonna start me off on my cleanse?

(He wanders around the conditioning tanks, mumbling to himself, looking for the right beer.) Oh my god… totally… Old Scrooge. (We laugh.)

SO YOU WORKED AT THE SILVER CITY RESTAURANT? 

Yeah, I worked there for like two and a half years. Then I went out on my own and managed kitchens here and there. An aspiring chef, I thought I was going to culinary school and all of that, but beer just kinda drew me on in. I just really became fascinated with the brewing process and wanted to make a career out of it and here I am… still trying to make a career out of it. 

DOES COOKING EXPERIENCE HAVE AN INFLUENCE ON THE BREWING PROCESS? 

Oh yeah... building recipes, executing them. You can draw a lot of similarities between the two. I don’t know if I ever fit in with the culture of culinary people, you know, but I definitely feel like I fit in the craft beer culture a little bit better, personality-wise.

I DON’T KNOW WHERE A 7-FOOT-TALL RED BEARDED MAN ACTUALLY FITS IN.

Me neither. But I do my best. 

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT BREWING BEER?

Uhh… I like to drink beer… and play guitar and… I’m a big fan of pinball. I also have a girlfriend, she’s pretty cool.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CAT. WHAT’S HER NAME? 

Her name is Trixie, short for Beatrix. And she’s actually coming up on her second birthday. I think I might have missed it but it’s ok because she doesn’t really know. At some point this week, she’ll get a tuna cake and a little birthday hat or something.

CANDLES?

No. We tried fire last year but I think it kind of stressed her out. Because she really likes tuna but she can’t put her face where there’s a bunch of fire. It was tough. 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BEER WE MAKE?

My favorite beer, that is brewed at Silver City… man, it’s really hard to actually answer that question. That’s one that I was trying to like mentally prepare myself for… 

…and I would have to say Cold One, our pilsner. It’s a really good pilsner, [Brewmaster] Don built a great recipe and really instilled in us how to brew a good pilsner, which is not easy to do. Luckily we work for a place that does a lot of good lagers. As brewers here, I feel like we are learning a lot from Don that we might not learn elsewhere, because the lagers that we do here are very technical, especially pilsner. Every little thing, every part of the recipe has to be on point or you can taste it in the end. It has to be perfect. 

I like it because of that demand for perfection, and you know... you can also drink them fast.

YOU’VE ALSO BREWED YOUR OWN RECIPE, HOW DID YOUR HESH BY NORTHWEST PILOT BEER COME ABOUT? 

“Hesh By Northwest” came about because I actually catch a lot of [crap] because I drink a lot of tall cans of [Vitamin-R]. So I kind of looked into how that beer is brewed and what ingredients they use in it. And I had a few other cream beers, which is what that style is called, and then I just kinda winged it the first time around. It ended up pretty good. I had a little help from [Lab / Innovation Director] Matt Riggs, building the recipe, but overall that was my first recipe that I brewed all on my own. 

The second time around, I kind of knew more where I wanted to go with it. I tweaked the recipe a little bit and adjusted the hops a little bit. And I think it’s a great beer. I think there’s a future for it, somewhere down the line.

WHAT’D YOU BREW IT FOR? DIDN’T YOU BREW IT FOR A PARTY?

I did brew it for a party actually, because my band was playing a show where you’ve gotta sell X-amount of tickets to play at this venue. So we decided to brew two kegs of beer and threw a house party. We asked people five-dollars-a-cup donation, and all the punks and metalheads in Bremerton showed up and we sold all our tickets for the show.

HOW’D YOU VOTE THIS YEAR? 

In which election? 

DOESN’T MATTER.

Libertarian, bruh. But we’re not supposed to talk about politics when we’re drinking, Bill. 

I KNOW, MY BAD… SO WHAT’S KEPT YOU HERE FOR FOUR-AND-A-HALF YEARS? 

I actually almost quit once. I got offered a kitchen manager position. I was just starting out here at the brewery and I wasn’t making much money. I was still kind of working my way up, and I saw an outside opportunity for a full salary, paid time off, and all that stuff. I took it. I put in my two weeks notice here, and I went back to work in a kitchen again. I hired a bunch of people. I re-did the menu. I prepped a bunch of food and sauces and everything… then at the end of the first day, I was shutting the lights off and I didn’t feel that level of excitement walking into a kitchen anymore. The next day I came in for one of my last brewery shifts, and I was in the mill room, and I was kinda letting grain run through my hands and I thought to myself, ‘How can I leave this behind?’ This beautiful alchemy that we manage with barley and water and hops and yeast… It’s crazy. And it’s beautiful. And I love it… and I’m tearing up right now. 

ME TOO… I’M GONNA HAVE TO STOP YOU THERE. 

I actually said to myself, ‘I can’t leave this behind.’ So the day before the grand opening of that restaurant, I called the manager and quit... But by then he had a full menu and a full staff and all that. It was definitely an interesting time in my life. So I reneged on wanting to quit the brewery, [Director of Operations] Gary and I hugged it out and I’ve been here ever since… and I’m not gonna leave.

WHAT’S YOUR TOP THREE FAVORITE WORDS TO SAY? 

Does “carne asada" count as one word or two? Let’s say tacos. Tacos, beer, and metal. 

THOSE ARE SUBJECTS, NOT WORDS. THOSE ARE YOUR FAVORITE TOPICS… 

Well, yeah, but they are also my favorite words to say… That’s a good silly question. 

THAT IS A DUMB QUESTION. 

No, it’s good… I like the silly questions in interviews.

OK, HOW ABOUT… DO YOU THINK THERE’S LIFE ON MARS? 

I think it’s a possibility. Maybe not on Mars but I definitely think that there’s life somewhere else. If like we’re all there is, the universe is screwed. I hope there is. I hope they’re a lot smarter than we are. And I hope they have beer. If an alien race shows up and they have [crappy] beer then we’ll just tell them to get the [freak] out. 

DO YOU THINK A BREWMASTER COULD EVER BE PRESIDENT? 

Well, I think Obama brewed beer… in the White House. He wasn’t like a brewmaster but he definitely likes craft beer, I know that much. I think it’s definitely a good possibility. Brewmasters are smart people, most of them are college educated. And they are also professional drunks, so they would be able to maintain a level of calm, cool, collected buzz during those long, lengthy state meetings, ya know.

YOU’VE BEEN A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION, GOOD SIR.

There are gonna be a lot of expletives in this thing. 

IT’S OK, DAN [MARKETING]  WILL TAKE CARE OF IT. 

Oh, Dan’s gonna hear this?

HE’LL BE THE FIRST ONE TO READ IT.

I love Dan. I got to spend a lot of time with Dan, I don’t get to spend a lot of time with him around here at work since he’s not in the taproom anymore, but I had the time of my life with that guy in Denver at GABF a year ago. It was so much fun. So hopefully he hears that. I love you Dan. 

[I love you too, Ian]

Well, that's it folks! Be sure to check in next week as we meet Josh McKenna, taproom specialist and our next crew member of the month!

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