Our mission is to invent, not just innovate, high quality brewing equipment and accessories for brewers all over the world. Since our launch in 2013, we have many market "firsts" to our credit including a conical bottomed stainless bucket, a weldless kettle trub dam, an insulated 5 degree sloped floor mash tun with center drain, and an integrated temperature control system custom designed for our Chronical series fermenters. We don't just talk about great customer service here either - we do it! One customer, one day, and one beer at a time!
As you generally find with brewers at large, the Ss Brewtech team draws from very diverse backgrounds and skill sets that is held together by a shared passion for making good beer and designing cool brewing Sstuff that we get to share with others – which in turn helps make more good beer! From commercial scale brewing, mechanical engineering, marketing and industrial design, to supply chain, quality, logistics, and customer support – the Ss Brewtech team effectively levers many decades of collective business experiences across a range of industries, products, geographies, and disciplines.
We may have more than a few gray hairs around here, but this isn’t some internet startup or incubator project either! Each of those gray hairs just means we have a lot more experience and wisdom earned over the years to guide this business forward in the coming years!
Below you'll find bios for the key founding members/owners of Ss Brewtech. Of course aside from these guys, and certainly every bit as important if not more so, there are many critical people in this Company that really make the wheels turn and keep the beer flowing! Quality assurance, engineering, customer support, warehouse management, order fulfillment, heavy equipment operation and rigging, sourcing, purchasing, logistics, accounting, pro gear commissioning / installation - each have very talented and dedicated people behind and in front of the scenes making the magic happen here. Not a day goes by that the founders of this Company aren't thankful and grateful to the daily contributions of the People that helped build this together with us! This is like a big family business to us, and we love our family!
Mitch Thomson: Chief Executive Officer | Co-Founder
Mitch brings 25 years of diverse management background both in Fortune 50 corporate environments as well as small start-ups. He started brewing in the early 80’s together with his father Larry, who in his own right was a pioneer in the home brewing movement back in the early 70’s, where he fought hard for legislative and regulatory reform both at the State and Federal level for home brewing – which until the 80’s and 90’s was very much a gray or red area in much of the country.
He grew up in the great state of Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon (1990) and went on to earn his MBA from Willamette University. From there Mitch went on to have an accomplished career with stints in international logistics, investment banking, and automotive electronics before finally deciding to go in together on the Ss Brewing Technologies venture with his friend and partner Curt Kucera back starting in 2013.
Supply chain management, business development, finance, and general administration/management of the Business are just some of the things Mitch handles on a day to day basis here. He wears many different hats here, likes to have real face time with both customers and suppliers, and without a doubt has more frequent flier miles than the rest of the Team put together.
Curt Kucera: Chief Technology Officer | Co-Founder
Curt has been doing high level mechanical engineering across several industries and disciplines for 30 plus years now. After graduating from Oregon State with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, a couple highlights of Curt’s engineering career include being Team Leader for flight deck displays on the venerable Boeing 777 and being the guy who ran a large engineering group at an automotive electronics company where he pioneered the field of mobile entertainment in vehicles with the first ever line fit OEM programs for LCD’s and VHS / DVD players in major vehicle platforms for Land Rover, Mercedes, GM, and Toyota.
Curt started brewing back in his college days when home brewing was still very much a novelty and equipment / ingredients weren’t always the easiest to come by. As time went on he just got more and more involved and his inner-engineer just couldn’t stop getting sucked in by all the intellectual and emotional hooks that many engineers and scientists love about making beer – which all culminated in Curt founding the Refuge Brewery back in 2012 with his partner Glenn and his son Jake. Curt for years was always drawing up concept designs for brewing equipment and coming up with all sorts of product development ideas for both home and pro brewing gear. Once he got Refuge up and running, he then turned his attention to taking some of those concept designs from years past and turning them into commercial products. Right about the time his friend and long time work partner Mitch Thomson was wanting to make the foray into the home brewing equipment business.
Product development, road-mapping, manufacturing, and process controls - both on the Home and Professional sides of the business - are just a few of the areas that Curt handles these days.
From the above list of first to market inventions, you can see that indeed many of those napkin sketches Curt collected over the years and over the beers turned out to be highly viable home brewing products that helped brewers make better beer or helped make the process of making beer easier and more enjoyable. So many of the things Curt designs seem so obvious and so simple / effective – yet nobody was doing them right or doing them at all. That is the hallmark of good design and we all value what Curt brings to the table there!
Jake Kucera: Chief Design Officer
After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a BFA in Design, Jake spent his next years as an Industrial Designer for a growing automotive electronics company. In 2012, after nearly a decade working in the automotive field, he decided to pursue his dream of starting up a craft brewery with his father Curt, and their friend/neighbor Glenn. Refuge Brewery continues to grow incredibly fast and is now available in over a thousand restaurants and stores throughout Southern California.
Jake has always had a passion for design, and his expertise in 3D CAD programs allows the entire Ss Brewtech team to visualize Curt’s designs. This collaborative team effort is at the core of everything we do here at Ss Brewtech. Jake is also a professional Graphic Designer and handles the branding of Ss Brewtech from our logo design, to magazine ads, to our website, he's got his hands in everything. The ability to have a member of the team so intimately involved in the design and engineering of our products also lead the marketing arm of our business allows for an honesty and sincerity in our brand rarely seen in larger corporations
Michael Fabian: Chief Commercial Officer
Michael Fabian joined Ss Brewing Technologies in its formative days as an owner of the Company and now holds the position of Chief Commercial Officer. Michael handles BizDev on both the Nano and Pro segments, as well as key roles in commercial strategy, product development, and technical oversight. Mr. Fabian has worked closely with many leading breweries and brewers on equipment selection, design, layout, operation, and support and he plays an instrumental role in the management and implementation of new brewing systems for all of Ss Brewtech’s pro brewing projects.
Michael started home brewing in 2010, where he quickly became enamored with the art and science behind brewing beer at home. Michael is passionate about working with others to fulfill their own professional and home brewing endeavors. He authors our everything from FAQs and white papers to product quick start guides, and regularly converses with home and nano brewers on our Ssupport desk. Other responsibilities include new product testing, development, and back office operations.
Prior to joining Ss Brewtech, Michael spent nearly a decade managing investment portfolios for high net worth individuals and institutions. He specialized in the analysis and portfolio construction of complex fixed income strategies, with an emphasis on leverage, duration, yield curve positioning, relative valuation, risk management, and credit research. During his investment management career, he authored investment commentary and editorial content for popular financial media outlets such as MarketWatch, NASDAQ, Seeking Alpha, and Forbes.
Chad Kucera: Pro Equipment Technician
Chad started home brewing with Curt when he was 21ish. He quickly developed a passion for brewing and the science behind fermentation. After a few years of college up in Oregon, Chad decided to pursue brewing as a career, and join his father Curt, and older brother Jake at Refuge Brewery. So Curt shipped him off, to Munich, Germany, where he learned the fundamentals and science behind brewing from the best in the world.After completing his Master Brewing courses with the Siebel Institute of Technology and Doemens Academy he returned to Refuge Brewery where he now heads Quality Assurance and the brew laboratory.
Chad’s real world professional brewing experience, and extensive brewing education, make him a critical member of out Pro Brewing Equipment team. Chad’s day-to-day role at Ss Brewtech involves brew house assembly, training, and pro brewing consulting.