Follow our team as we open and continue to grow.
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.
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.
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.
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.