Shane Watterson – Brewmaster
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.
Steve Balzer – Head Brewer
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!
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.
Austen Conn – Brewer
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!
Jared Walklet – Head 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.
Noah Palmer – Cellerman
Noah hails from Newberg, Oregon and being from the area, he is naturally a huge fan of the Blazers. But his other great passion is beer. After 6 years of home brewing, Noah took his hobby to the next level and attended brew school, which only solidified his love for the craft beer industry. The rest of the our brew crew describe Noah as meticulous, hardworking, and diligent — an undoubtedly great asset to the Laurelwood team. When he isn’t cheering on the Blazers, it comes to no surprise that he likes to hit the court himself. He’s also apparently quite the pro on courts of the tennis variety too.
Eric Ebel – Cellerman
Eric has trouble answering “Where are you from?” because he has lived all over the country, from New Jersey to Hawaii, from Sin City to countless cities in California. But his favorite place to live? Oregon, which is a great locale for his favorite hobbies… snowboarding, rock climbing, and brewing good beer! Simply hanging out and drinking craft beers with his buddies helped trigger Eric’s interest in the scene. From there, he entered the world of home brewing and then earned his IBD (International Brewing & Distilling) certificate in Bend. Now he gets to continue expanding his knowledge, as well as drink his favorite beer — our hefeweizen– right here, at Laurelwood, and we’re happy to have him do so!