OUR TEAM

Follow our team as we open and continue to grow.

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Founder & BrewerJASON HOWARD

Jason loves beer, and even before he was supposed to, he preferred drinking the good stuff. He fondly remembers how his first sips of the old Baltimore Brewing Company’s brews at JHU parties in the mid-90’s really blew his mind. While living in Northern California, he enjoyed being able to walk to the Tied House Brewery in Mountain View for a post-work wind down. He is a veteran of the USCG, was a backcountry backpack guide and has spent time working in technology for the medical, food service, manufacturing, real estate and banking industries. He started brewing in 2009, along with his long-time friend and fellow Pickett brewer Neil Heinlein. He is an avid reader, especially of beer books, spends way too much time researching beer, and has attended craft brewing programs at both the University of Vermont and UC Davis.

Co-owner & Director of Business OperationsKATE CONWAY

Kate joined the Pickett team to develop business operations while Jason runs brewing ops. She previously worked in nonprofit leadership and philanthropy. She has a certificate in the Business of Craft Beer from the University of Vermont, is a Certified Beer Server, serves on the Carroll Camden Business Association board, and is Treasurer of the Maryland Chapter of the Pink Boots Society. When Kate’s not at the brewery she’s at concerts, reading, camping, or watching and playing sports with her husband, Chris, and their four sons.

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BeertenderJOHNNY CONTOMPASIS

Johnny Contompasis recently finished 12 years of service in the Army and is excited to transition into the brewing industry. He has been homebrewing for a decade, studied chemistry in college, and has 5 years of experience in laboratories. He grew up in the mountains of Vermont where his first craft beer experiences were often hop forward New England style beers but his favorite style is Irish Stout. While away from the brewery, he is studying law at the University of Maryland.

BeertenderKELLY CHO

Kelly Cho comes from Seoul where she first became familiar with the crisp, clean taste of lagers brewed with rice. She has lived thoughout the U.S. and Canada and is a recent transplant to Baltimore. Her favorite type of fermentation is spontaneous lactobacillis fermentation in her kitchen, where she constantly has a variety of vegetables fermenting into Kimchi.
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BrewerNEIL HEINLEIN

Along with his father-in-law Frank, Neil started home brewing in 2008 in Frank’s garage in Dundalk. Their first batch was a five gallon, all-grain IPA that turned out really good, but disappeared far too quickly. Batch number two was 20 gallons of the same IPA recipe, and while equally as good, also didn’t last long. Each beer they brewed got progressively better, and after winning and placing in several home brew competitions, they entered Clipper City Brewing Company’s Letter of Marque home brew contest in 2009, and WON. Clipper City brewed their Hop Rye Porter on a commercial scale and released the ale in 22 ounce bomber bottles to the general public. As more and more friends and family enjoyed their beer, they realized they needed to brew more in each batch so they built a two barrel frankenbrew system using a few stainless 55 gallon stainless drums, a lot of welding, pumps, and a hot water heater burner. With this larger batch size, heavier equipment and more cleaning, they decided to bring on another partner — Neil’s long time friend Jason, to join the team. Together they honed their craft, won some more competitions and formed the base of what is now Pickett Brewing Company.

BeertenderMike "Traut" Trautman

Traut joins the Pickett Team with passion for beer and a host of beer knowledge.  He started with his love of craft beer visiting several Baltimore area bars during the early 1990’s.  Having worked for and airline in his younger days he soon was able to attend his first (of many) Great American Beer Festivals in Denver.  He took advantage of the airline benefits and was able to travel around the country visiting breweries and beer festivals.  He has attended beer festivals in Oregon, Vermont, Massachusetts, DC, and of course Maryland.  Being an avid sports fan, especially Baseball, he used to say that when he traveled it was usually for a baseball game or beer festival.  Nowadays when not working he is on a mission to visit all of Maryland’s current breweries….and as of this posting, has less than 10 to go.  Traut is truly a Beer Adventurer and Enthusiast.
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