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Our Brewers

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Vasilios Gletsos – Brewmaster

Vasilios (Vasili for short) is the mastermind behind Laurelwood beer. Hailing from Westchester, PA, Vasili moved to Portland in 2004 to start his career in brewing. With his dedication and passion for the industry, Vasili has excelled such brands as Rock Bottom Brewery, Portland Brewing/Pyramid, and now is taking Laurelwood to the next level. Vasili’s pedigree doesn’t stop with his work experience; he is a graduate of the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and also possesses a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Maine College of Art. Being interested in craftsmanship and having a huge connection working with his hands and brain together is what makes Vasili an established artist in the industry. When not creating The Wood’s next bestseller, Vasili likes to unwind by playing music (banjo, fiddle and guitar), spending time with his family, riding his bike, and home brewing—that’s right, home brewing. Vasili just wants to “put out great beer that people love.”

Shane Watterson – Head Brewer

Portland produces very creative and passionate artists, and Shane is one of those artists. After getting through high school here in Portland, he went on to attend college at the University of Nevada, graduating with a degree in philosophy and a minor in Spanish. The minor in Spanish came in handy when traveling for 8 months in Costa Rica, where Shane took a class, surfed, and traveled. Shane home-brewed for years and was a member of the Oregon Brew Crew. As a member he held the position of Education Chair. Shane’s career took off from there when he got a job at Deschutes Brewery as an assistant brewer. This led him to more schooling at the American Brewers Guild and a position here at Laurelwood as a brewer. Shane enjoys making good beer and likes the unique brewing culture in a smaller brewery. It’s quality versus quantity that Shane is interested in. Self described as a patient, easy going, devilishly handsome and wise individual, Shane is one of the ingredients in taking Laurelwood to the next level.

Cameron Murphy – Brewer

Cameron is one of our “Jack of all trades” in the brewery. Cam helps wherever help is needed. Born and raised in Portland, Cam is looking to learn as much as possible about brewing and the brewing industry from those around him. In addition to learning the art of brewing Cam likes to stay active with anything athletic, the outdoors, and having good times with good people. With his easygoing personality and determination, Cam has a bright future ahead of him in the brewing industry.

Eric Brurud – Brewer

Eric was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. After completing High School, Eric attended the University of Idaho in pursuit of obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering. During his time at school, Eric realized that engineering wasn’t his passion, but that beer was! He then moved to St. Helens, Oregon and started his brewing career at Captured by Porches Brewing Co. When Eric is not pursuing his passion for brewing, he likes to unwind by drawing, building things with his trusty hammer, and rock climbing. One of his favorite places to climb is Smith Rock located in Central Oregon. Eric plays an essential role in our brewing process and ensures the quality that Laurelwood expects from its beers.

Jared Walklet – Cellerman

Jared is one of our prized Cellarman here at Laurelwood. Jared grew up in San Ramon, California, located within the Bay Area.  Jared attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he received a degree in exercise science. While living in North Carolina, Jared received his first job in the beer industry at Roth Brewing Company in Raleigh. Jared also picked up the art of Home Brewing and loves concocting beers of his own. When Jared isn’t working or brewing he enjoys playing rugby, reading, and exploring the beautiful town of Portland. Jared is easy going but a hard worker and enjoys finishing the day with a cold one. One of Jared’s accomplishments is completing the cross-country drive from North Carolina to his new home of Portland.

Steve Balzar – Cellarman

A true “Coasty” at heart, Steve grew up in the beautiful coastal town of Seaside, Oregon.  Upon finishing high school, Steve went on to study marketing and economics at the University of Oregon. After working two years in business and five years of home brewing, he decided that cubicles just couldn’t contain his dream and we went on to study brewing technology at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. Steve started off his career in the brewing industry as a floor malter at Rogue Ales and is now a valuable asset to the Laurelwood team. When he isn’t shining in our brewery, Steve is shining out of the field where he is a part of Portland’s Co-ed Drinking Kickball League! Steve also enjoys snowboarding on Mt. Hood, hiking, skating, and anything that involves being outdoors. One interesting fact is that he hates things that are sweet, so he relies on beer for his daily sugar intake. Steve is currently drinking the Portland Pale Project to quench that thirst!

Austen Conn – Head Cellarman

Austen is one of the more well-travelled members of our brewing team. Prior to moving to Oregon Austen lived in 5 different states.  After graduating high school in Minneapolis, Minessota he went on to complete the master brewer program at the Siebel Institute of Technology as well as the international program in Munich, Germany.  Austen started his career in the brewing industry at Trumur Pils Brauerei located in Berkeley, California, but decided to relocate to Portland in pursuit of the thriving craft beer scene. During his free time, Austen loves to be submerged in the beautiful sceneries Portland has to offer and enjoys activities such as frolicking in waterfalls and basking in the radiance of the sun (when it exists). Austen’s hobbies include listening to vinyl, lounging in the Columbia River, and hiking with his Labrador named Bear E. Manilow. Austen has been home brewing since 2008 and is a key player in helping make our beer taste delicious!