Ever drink an Abita Amber? Or a Turbodog? How about a Purple Haze? Well, those are all beers that my good buddy Brooks Hamaker formulated and brewed down in Abita Springs, Louisiana for the iconic Abita Brewing Company. Brooks was with Abita at its inception and helped grow the brewery into the South’s leading producer of craft beer.
And now he’s coming to North Carolina to join the crew at Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery as its Head of Operations. Brooks will initially focus on helping to move and install Fullsteam’s brewhouse to the new brewpad. He’ll work with brewer Chris Davis to help fine-tune the brewing system and scale brewery operations in anticipation of a spring launch.
Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited for Fullsteam, which will be opening in the spring, producing its fantastic Southern agricultural beers. I’m also excited for founder Sean Lilly Wilson, who now has the perfect operations guy to help run the show. But in the end, I’m excited for me, as one of my best friends in the world is relocating from New Orleans to Durham, and I’ll get to drink his beer.
Brooks isn’t just a brewer; he’s a food writer, too, who has appeared in many regional and national publications. Of course, we were both on the managerial staff of the eGullet Culinary Society. Salon.com recently appointed Brooks to the Salon Kitchen Cabinet, where he serves as the online magazine’s resident beer expert. And hell, he even dates a Beard Award-winning chef.
And I will be writing about the construction of the Fullsteam Brewery in the coming weeks. There’s a lot of work to be done, but now that Brooks Hamaker is onboard, I see nothing but smooth sailing — and drinking — ahead. Welcome to the Triangle, Brooksie!