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Briess Technical Team


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The Briess Technical Team includes some of the leading scientists, maltsters, brewers and sensory experts in their field. Briess staff are educated in some of the most respected institutions in America, and maintain memberships, certifications and training through the largest professional groups in the beer and food industries. Briess staff are frequently called upon to share their technical expertise at trade conferences, and apply their knowledge daily to help our customers succeed.


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Ryan O'Toole

Ryan O'Toole

President/COO

Joined Briess November 2015

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL

Profile: Ryan began his career with Kerry Ingredients 18+ years ago, preforming various roles throughout the company and country. He has a broad background and robust knowledge of the food and ingredients industries. Starting at Kerry as a Quality Assurance Technician and Production Supervisor, he became fluent in the production processes of food manufacturing. As he continued his career, his roles included Quality Assurance Manager, Technical Manager, Operations Director, and finally Vice President of Operations. His focus throughout these roles included ensuring facility adherence to budget, capital expenditures, customer service, quality and safety.


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Mike Scanzello

Director of Brewing and Distilling

Joined Briess July 2015

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Kutztown University in Kutztown, PA

Profile: After graduating from Kutztown University in 1995, Mike began his career at Stroh’s Brewing Co. in Allentown, PA. Over the next 6 years Mike would hold several positions in both the QA and Brewing Departments. In 2001, after the brewery in Pennsylvania closed, Mike moved to Wisconsin, accepting a position with Cargill at its Jefferson Junction Malthouse. In 2007, Mike transitioned from operations management to the commercial side of Cargill’s malt business, becoming an Account Executive with its Specialty Malt Products Group. In July of 2015, Mike brought his talents to Briess and joined as the National Distillery Manager. In February of 2016, Mike was promoted to Director of Brewing and Distilling.


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Bob Hansen

Bob Hansen

Technical Services Manager

Joined Briess May 2001

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree with a double major in Biochemistry and Applied Math and Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Attended Siebel Institute courses.

Profile: Prior to joining Briess, Bob was a brewing consultant and brewer and consultant for Water Street Brewery, Milwaukee. At Briess, Bob commissioned a 500bbl brewhouse in the new Briess Extract Plant, and established a new Pilot Brewery. In addition to extensive R&D, Bob also provides technical support and recipe formulation assistance to customers. Frequent presenter to brewing and food industry groups.


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Mike Killelea

Division Manager - Brew East

Joined Briess January 2016

Education: Completed the 28-week Craft Brewer’s Apprenticeship program offered by the American Brewers Guild.

Profile: Mike brings more than 10 years of professional brewing experience to Briess. He began his career after completing the American Brewers Guild apprenticeship program, followed by a brief internship. Following that, Mike was hired as a brewer at Legend Brewing Company in Richmond, VA where he worked for 6 ½ years. For the past 3 ½ years, Mike was the Head Brewer at Center of the Universe Brewing Company in Ashland, VA. In addition to brewing, Mike is also the founder of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, serving as Guild Chairman for its first four years.


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Penny Pickart

Penny Pickart

Division Manager—Brew Central

Joined September 1996

Education: Course work at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, WI. Completed Siebel Institute brewing course.

Profile: Penny is a trusted and highly-sought advisor to the brewing industry. Her passion for the brew industry and continued education through Siebel Institute of Technology as well as MBAA courses have helped her develop expertise in malt and beer sensory over her 20 years of experience. Penny is always willing to jump in with both feet with brewers to trouble shoot brewhouse performance issues and her customers seek her out due to her malt characteristic expertise to assist in recipe formulation. Further, that expertise has led her to be a judge at competitions nationwide including GABF and World Beer Cup.


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Aaron Hyde

Division Manager—Brew South

Joined Briess July 2014

Education: Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Business and a Minor in Marketing from University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh

Profile: In 2009, Aaron opened a homebrew shop in New Orleans, which he operated for five years prior to joining Briess. He is well versed in homebrewing and winemaking, and earned a certificate in grapevine biology from Texas Tech. Aaron also studied enology at University of California–Davis. He has taken brewing and malting courses throughout the years, and received a certificate in brewing from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD), a certificate in malting from the IBD, and is a certified Cicerone. Aaron is also a BJCP Beer Judge and an active member of the American Homebrewers Association and the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.


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Dan Burick

Division Manager—Brew Mountain

Joined Briess November 2015

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Colorado.

Profile: Dan comes to Briess with 26 years of professional craft brewing knowledge in both ub and production brewing. Dan started brewing beer at Squatters Pub Brewery six weeks after it opened in 1989. He brewed for about a year before attending brewing school at the Siebel Institute of Technology. In 1997, in partnership with the Doemens Brewing Academy in Munich, Germany and Siebel Institute of Technology, Dan completed a course in Bavarian Brewing Technology. Soon after, he became Director of Brewing for the Utah Brewers Cooperative, which operates two brewpubs and one packaging facility for the Squatters and Wasatch brands.


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Betsy Roberts

Quality Manager—Malting

Joined Briess June 2009

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree with double major in Biochemistry and Food Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Profile: Experience in both the malting and food industries. Prior to coming to Briess, Betsy worked as a Quality Control Supervisor for the J.M. Smucker Company. Betsy started her professional experience in the malting industry, gaining experience in both malting production and quality analysis while working for Anheuser-Busch and the USDA Cereal Crops Research Unit Barley and Malt Division. Betsy started with Briess in the Technical Services Group, driving various projects to improve malt quality, including method validations and new method development. She has served as a company regulatory resource, allergen technical resource, and product analysis resource, as well as provided quality training and developed procedures in various areas of the Briess quality system. In her current role, Betsy is responsible for assuring product quality at each of the three Briess malthouses, as well the barley operation. She also manages the two malt analytical labs in Chilton and Manitowoc. Betsy is a member of the ASBC, MBAA, and AACC.


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Jason Batterman

Quality Manager—Ingredients

Joined Briess April 2006

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree with a double major in Soil Science and Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Earned an Accredited Environmental Studies Certificate.

Profile: Prior to joining Briess, Jason worked for Kelling Laboratory in Madison, WI in its vegetable plant and cereal crop research program. In his role at Briess, Jason focuses on quality support of the Extract Plant and Insta Grains® facilities. He is responsible for quality approval of process improvements, reviews root cause analysis of deviations, provides customer and regulatory audit support, and oversees the Extract Plant analytical laboratory. Jason is a WDATCP Certified Laboratory Analyst, is an AIB Trained HACCP Participant for the Extract Division, and is a member of the Extract Plant Food Defense Team.


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Dan Bies

Technical Services Rep, Pilot Brewery

Joined Briess November 2007

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from University of Wisconsin– Stevens Point. Attended brewing courses at Seibel Institute and microbiology courses at Silliker Laboratories.

Profile: Prior to joining Briess, Dan gained experience as a chemist and lab leader in several industries. At Briess, Dan is responsible for performing malt analysis, microbiological testing, brewing and R&D projects, including new product development and process improvement. Dan manages the pilot brewing and pilot plant operations and commercialization of new products in the extract plant. Recent projects include gluten free beer, malta, fermented malt beverage base and downstream beer color and flavor adjustment products. He regularly helps formulate recipes for home and craft brewers and has published articles, posters and given presentations in support of the craft brewing industry. Prior to joining the technical service staff, Dan was an analyst in the malting lab.


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Judie Giebel

Technical Services Rep, Food & Bakery

Joined Briess July 1987

Education: Judie is an AIB Certified Ingredient Service Provider and an AIB Certified Baker (American Institute of Baking)

Profile: Judie has extensive experience with the malting and food ingredients divisions at Briess. Indepth knowledge of production processes, capabilities and scheduling, raw materials, quality control procedures, ingredient applications and new product development. Hands-on and applications development experience.


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Jordon Geurts

Technical Services Associate

Joined Briess October 2013

Education: Jordon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology and Organismal Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.

Profile: Prior to Briess, Jordon worked with the USDA in its Cereal Crops Research Unit as a Lab Technician in the Barley Malt Quality Lab in Madison, WI. In his role at the USDA he specialized in small batch and pilot malting. In his current role at Briess, he provides technical support services for quality assurance, quality control, and R&D projects.


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Cassie Liscomb

Technical Services Associate

Joined Briess June 2014

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Old Dominion University and a Master of Forestry Degree from Michigan Technological University. She also attended the Sensory Panel Management Course at Siebel Institute of Technology, completed sensory training from Nestle USA, and received HACCP certification from AIB International.

Profile: Prior to joining Briess, Cassie worked as a Chemist at MillerCoors where she provided analytical support to the Hop and Cereal Chemistry Labs, performed pilot malting services, and served as an Official Taster on the Milwaukee Corporate Taste Panel. In Cassie’s current role, she provides technical support for Quality and R&D projects with a focus on sensory evaluation and method development. She is responsible for developing, enhancing, and managing the Briess Malt Sensory Program, which allows her the opportunity to work closely with customers to better understand malt flavor. Cassie is a passionate member of the ASBC Sensory Technical Subcommittee, on which she currently serves as Chair of Malt Sensory Method Development. She is also a member of the Society of Sensory Professionals.


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