Ted and Becky Nagy, Co-Founders and Owners
Ted was first introduced to craft beer back in the 1980′s while he was living in the Pacific Northwest. This is where he first tasted Lew’s home brew and fell in love with the qualities and workmanship of craft brewing.
He was a machine designer for 19 years, and still fantasizes about the massive machinery, but has since focused on his entrepreneurial talents. Ted and Becky enjoy sailing, wine, beer and food tasting at locations around the world.
Lew Brewer, Founding Brewer
Lew started homebrewing in 1986 and later worked for Redhook on their old bottling line where he picked up tips from the pros. He learned to brew in a professional setting on Mike Hale’s original “low tech brewery” (as Mike used to say) in Kirkland Washington in 1990. Having moved to Kalona, Iowa from Seattle Washington, he connected with Gary Fitzpatrick in Iowa City, a pioneer of craft brewing in Iowa, whom he brewed for during the late 1990’s.
Lew has a special admiration for those pioneer craft brewers who in the 1980’s and 90’s went prospecting for gold in a terrain that was not nearly as open, hospitable, and acceptable as it is today. Beer wasn’t trendy back in those days, but those craft brewers put a stake in the ground with their passion and hard work. A tip of the hat to those folks, thank you for opening the door!
THE KBC TEAM
Lucas Gibson, Plant Manager and Lead Brewer
A craftsman by trade, Luke came to the Brewery originally as a builder and problem solver, installing much of the internal structures in the building at its inception, and beyond. Overtime he learned the craft of the industrial brewing process through intensive hands-on work, mentoring and research. An oxymoronically accessible enigma, he self-describes as: an Iowa native, problem solver, workaholic, artist, bad speler, outdoors lover, and observer of the universe.
Shauna McKnight, General Manager
Shauna got to know Kalona Brewing Company as a front-of-house team member early on, before moving to Portland, Oregon, where she gained extensive experience in the hospitality industry in many roles including management, social media marketing, and even as a popular high-end whiskey review blogger. She returned to the Kalona area in 2020 and quickly became a key member of the KBC team. Her inclusiveness, attention to detail, and long-term outlook bring an industry freshness to her new role as general manager.
Oliver Hassman, Head Chef
Chef Oliver Hassman grew up seven miles south of Kalona with his two siblings, and is a graduate of the Kirkwood Culinary Arts program. A need for an active and creative endeavor that he could take pride in each day led him to his current profession. He got to know the ins-and-outs of the restaurant world by starting as a delivery driver at Iowa City’s downtown restaurant, The Mill before moving into a key place on the kitchen staff. In search of new experience, he transitioned to Coralville’s Vesta, first as a line cook, then into the role of sous chef and finally, to Vesta’s head chef, under the invaluable mentorship of owner Chef Seth Hershey. As part of Chef Hassman’s many responsibilities and accomplishments over his five years as head chef at Vesta, he developed a specialty in knowledge of beer and wine pairings which provided an ideal opportunity for exploration and new opportunities at Kalona Brewing Company. He is thrilled to be working with so many wonderful people in the positive atmosphere at KBC, and is very excited to have a leading role in the growth and success at the Brewery.
Winson Leaton, Cellar Keep
Once upon a time Winson lived in Frytown. He grew up, emerging in adolescence as the class clown and a pretty good drummer (thanks to a lot of time listening to Rush, Pink Floyd, the Police, the Foo Fighters and Dave Mathews, in that order). Eventually he found himself with over a decade of experience in the food industry and in 2014 made the jump to craft beer. He originally began with Kalona Brewing Co. in sales and distribution, and now his work is focused on the brew floor. Winson likes being surrounded by great coworkers and friends, and lives in Kalona with his lovely wife Kim, daughter Azry and son Riker.
Tyler McKeon, Sales & Distribution Associate
Tyler is an Iowa native originally from Delmar, IA and is now residing in West Des Moines. He is a graduate from Black Hawk Community College in Moline, IL. and in his spare time he enjoys riding motorcycles, biking, kayaking, and being a part of the craft beer scene. Tyler loves to travel and go on long motorcycle rides with his father and is a big fan of the Green Bay Packers. He has a passion for craft beer and in 2018 he started working in the Iowa craft beer industry as a packaging technician. He is currently Cicerone Beer Server Certified and working towards his Cicerone Certified Certification. Tyler is looking forward to working with and talking to accounts, customers and fans of Kalona Brewing Co. in the Des Moines and surrounding areas.
Christina Patramanis, Brand Marketing Specialist & Event Coordinator
Christina is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a background in English, psychology, marketing, event production and the arts. She lives the slogan ‘Art + Science + Spirit = KBC Philosophy’ through her work, varied interests, and life with friends and family. Equally a fan of nature and urban life you may find her, when outside of Kalona, in Iowa City having an espresso, in Des Moines working on a project as a proud Iowa Brewers Guild Board Member, or someplace hiding under a pine tree with a book of poetry and a light-bodied stout.
Warren “W” Yoder, Head Brewer
Warren, or called by his friends, “W”, is a life-long resident of Kalona and attended Iowa Mennonite High School and Goshen College in Indiana. He was happy to return to Kalona to work in the family business, Kalona Builders Supply with his father and brother. Around 2008, W. began home brewing with friends, quickly gaining knowledge and experience. In 2013, KBC co-founder Lew Brewer invited W. to join the Kalona Brewing Company team, and it has been an incredible ride ever since!. When he is not at the Brewery, he spends time with his best friend and wife, Emily (who helps him to be a better person every day). He also loves being involved in community, singing in various choirs, golfing, gardening, being a Cubs fan, being in the kitchen, spending time in nature and with his family, and is an active member of East Union Mennonite Church just outside of Kalona.