Pull Up A Stool with Tyson Arp
Head Brewer, Nebraska Brewing Co.
How did you meet Paul [Kavulak, the founder]?
I was a carpenter. My partners and I had a construction company, but we called it quits when the housing market turned soft. I was the lone person out of that partnership who didn’t know what to do with himself. When I decided I wanted to be a brewer, I took a course at the Siebel Institute. Then I entered a homebrewing competition to see if my beer was actually any good—because your friends won’t give you a frank opinion of your homebrew. My first competition, I ended up winning Best in Show. The real kicker was that our owner, Paul Kavulak, was one of the judges. Previous to that, I’d sent him my resume, because I found out about this business starting up, and he had not returned my calls. The competition was the icebreaker.
By that time, he already had another brewer on staff. I was begging for any opportunity to get my foot in the door. The place was still under construction, so I made myself as useful as possible, and before we opened the doors, he offered me the job as assistant brewer.
My wife and I were somewhat excited that we might get to move someplace cool once I started a brewing career, but we ended up staying in Nebraska after all. But that’s great, because it’s cool to be part of what’s become a great beer scene locally.