The Gunwhale Team has three passionate founders who are native to Southern California.  We are native to the California coast (2 in Newport Beach and 1 in La Jolla), reveling in the beauty and adventure at our fingertips.  We grew up surfing, fishing, camping, and boating from Baja California to Central Coast to wherever the ride took us. We also are self-proclaimed beer geeks, happy to have been forming our palettes over the years to scouring the tasting rooms in a hotbed of brewing culture. We are just a couple of family guys who have risked much to go after a dream. We started as homebrewers, and we take beer more seriously than ourselves. 

JUSTIN MILLER

CO-FOUNDER

Justin split time growing up between Newport Beach and Maui (not a bad combo, eh?). He became a cook, mostly because his ADD prevented him from a 1600 on his SATs, and it led him to some great kitchens in Orange County. He even leveraged his knife skills into a gig cooking on the Quicksilver Crossing surfing expedition boat. He has been Executive Chef at Pizzeria Ortica, putting out the best pie in the area as well as some pretty rad beer dinners with local breweries. He will be ramping up some of the same for Gunwhale in the future, on top of heading up our Operations. He straddles the edge of inappropriateness with an adeptness not often seen.

Favorite beer style : Wild Ales and anything with fennel.   

Favorite Outdoor activity : Surfing / Windsurfing.

 

JT WALLACE

CO-FOUNDER

JT has technical prowess, pretty much the MacGyver of the beer industry. He not only was in charge of our tasting room buildout, he will be overseeing Production and is our stickler for quality control. He studied engineering (read: nerd), worked in antiques, manufacturing, and construction before diving into this rabbit hole of endless brewery tasks, ie "fixin shit". He loves piles of lumber more than any healthy person should, and is clearly above average at restoring old boats and cars. He grows his own food (what a hippie, right?) and will probably try to convince us to make a swiss chard beer because his garden is overgrown with it. 

Favorite beer style : West Coast IPAs.   

Favorite Outdoor activity : Boating (on his restored electric in Newport Harbor).

BOBBY FITZGERALD

CO-FOUNDER

Bobby, a Certified Cicerone® will be managing Sales. But as a wicked artist, he also handles all the branding, design, and packaging for Gunwhale. Looking back, he sees time living in Europe in the 90's as a major influence on his desire for better beer due to the exposure of traditional European styles before he even turned of age (and it kept him from getting much else done over there). But growing up in San Diego and spending much of his working life near many craft brewery pioneers didn't hurt either. He has a deep love for coffee, Vespa culture, and the "3-beer lunch" which he justifies as "crucial research & development".

Favorite beer style : Funky saisons and Unfiltered IPAs.   

Favorite Outdoor activity : Fishing / camping in Baja.


DEREK TESTERMAN

HEAD BREWER

Derek cut his teeth at Iron Hill, one of the best brewpubs back east (an institution of sorts with a gaggle of medals to prove it). He learned from some of the industry's best, and had his hand in a few beers that got him groupies. Derek moved out west to become Head Brewer at another brewery locally in Orange County. But we were happy to lock him up a few months back (he's both proven, promising, and looks fantastic in rubber gloves) and we can say that the first batches we have been running are ridiculously quaffable. Expect the highest quality and consistent beers from this zymurgist sorcerer, because he is particular that way (and we don't mind it). We forced him to drink more farmhouse beer, and he begs us daily to make a pilsner. We are lucky to have him as he has been working his ass off for months right alongside us. 

Favorite beer style : Pilsners (we might even let him make one)   

Favorite Outdoor activity : Riding his new bike (he thinks motorcycles are exercise).


JOIN OUR TEAM

Our brewery is growing quickly, and we are open to bringing on people with the talent and passion to help us build our brand. If you think you have the skills and drive to join our team, please send cover letters and resumes to : info@gunwhaleales.com

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