When MadTree tapped their inaugural beer at Arthur’s in Hyde Park on February 6, 2013, Ryan Blevins was there to try it. Little did he know he’d soon be brewing it. “I told [MadTree cofounder] Kenny [McNutt], ‘If you need help, I’ll do anything. I don’t care if I scrub the floors,’” Blevins says. A mechanic who had been home-brewing for four years, he officially left the garage for the brew deck seven months later. Now as operations manager he oversees five other brewers, but his wrenching skills are anything but rusty.
“It’s funny how brewing goes hand in hand with what I did before,” he says. “There’s always something that could fail. It helps to know the equipment and not have to rely on an outside company. We can get production back up and running without delays.” That’s important, because delays aren’t an option. “There’s never enough beer,” he says. “It’s a great problem to have.” Blevins estimates they’ve released 50 new beers since opening, including one of his recipes, a raspberry chocolate stout (Rubus Cacao), and a blackberry Gose collaboration beer with Listermann Brewing Company (Madmann). For pointers on the second, an unfiltered, salted and tart German-style wheat beer, he consulted Blank Slate Brewing Co. “We work with breweries all the time, helping each other out,” he says. “That’s just the way it is. I love it.”