Meet our Instructors
Dave Adams — Front of the House Management
Director of Beer Education and Certified Cicerone®, Green Flash Brewing Co.
Dave Adams, a San Diego native and Certified Cicerone®, is director of beer education at Green Flash Brewing Company and an outspoken champion for his hometown’s craft beer community. At Green Flash, Adams runs the brewery’s tasting room and leads educational beer events in the brewery and beyond. He began working in the industry at Stone World Bistro and Gardens in 2006, immediately drawn in by the community spirit of the scene. As beverage coordinator at Churchill’s Pub and Grille, Adams was instrumental in planning a diverse beer rotation and led countless beer-pairing dinners. In 2009, he became a Certified Cicerone®. Adams joined Green Flash in 2011 and embraces the brand’s pioneering, beer-first philosophy. A resource for internal and external education, Adams is dedicated to ensuring that the craft beer scene remains approachable and entertaining.
Debra Druther — Finance
CPA, Lavine, Lofgren, Morris & Engelberg, LLP
Debra Druther, CPA has more than eight years of public accounting experience with Lavine, Lofgren, Morris & Engelberg, LLP, one of the largest independent certified public accounting firms in San Diego. Druther recognized that she could combine her love of accounting with her passion for craft beer, and she now enjoys an excellent reputation in the craft brewing industry as a tax and accounting expert. Druther works with multiple California craft breweries, is a member of the Pink Boots Society, San Diego Brewers Guild, California Craft Brewers Association, and has contributed to the local beer publication, West Coaster.
Justin Evelyn — Front of the House Management
Hospitality Manager & Certified Cicerone®, The Bagby Beer Company
Justin Evelyn is a San Diego native, Certified Cicerone®, and Certified Sommelier, through the Court of Master Sommeliers. His love of great beer developed in Europe, where he discovered beer that expressed its regional identity. He started his career in beverages at Holiday Wine Cellar, and became the original beverage director at Stone World Bistro & Gardens, procuring beer and wine, maintaining a beer cellar and draft system, organizing events, and teaching beer education courses. After leaving Stone Brewing Co. he became the opening general manager of the award-winning brewpub, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing. Currently, he is working for The Bagby Beer Company and proctoring exams for the Cicerone® Certification Program.
Derek Gallanosa — Marketing Craft Beer
Head Brewer for Abnormal Beer Company
Derek Gallanosa is the head brewer for Abnormal Beer Company and beer curator for The Cork and Craft, San Diego's first restaurant, winery and brewery, all in one. He has been in the craft beer industry for more than five years with previous experience at Karl Strauss Brewing Company and The LAB: Dining Sessions. He is also just an all-around cool guy to chat beer with.
Chad Heath — The Business of Distribution
Vice President & General Manager, Kegstar
Chad Heath has been a leader in the craft beer industry for nearly a decade. After eight years of running Stone Distributing, he is now the VP/GM for a new keg pooling company called Kegstar. Heath brings his passion for craft and hands-on experience to a course on how breweries can get the most out of wholesalers. He also dives into contract law, marketing, how to manage a sales force, financial terms, wholesaler lingo and, above all, how to be successful and have fun in this crazy craft industry.
Matt Johnson — Brewery Start-Up I: Readiness
General Manager, Helm's Brewing
Matt Johnson is currently the general manager at Helm’s Brewing Company founded in 2012. He was born and raised in San Diego and attended San Diego State University graduating in 2008 with a degree in criminal justice. After spending time in retail, Johnson convinced his father, an avid home brewer for many years, that it was possible to “go pro” and open a professional brewery. Johnson with his four friends founded what is now Helm’s Brewing Company in Kearny Mesa. He is now in charge of running the business as Helm’s Brewing continues to grow.
Candace L. Moon — Brewery Start-Up I: Readiness
Founder, The Craft Beer Attorney APC
Candace L. Moon is an attorney and founder of The Craft Beer Attorney, a California-based firm dedicated to advising the craft beer industry since 2009. CBA actively serves over 250 craft beer breweries, including breweries in planning nationwide, handling many different legal areas including business entity formation, alcoholic beverage law, contract review, and trademark law. Her clients include Green Flash, Drake's, Alesmith and Jamil Zainasheff's Heretic Brewing. Moon is a frequent lecturer for both state and national craft beer conferences as well as an instructor for craft beer certificates at San Diego State University, and UC San Diego. She has spoken and taught continuing legal education (CLE) for various legal associations, and has written numerous articles and appeared on a variety of nationally televised broadcasts including CBS This Morning, MSNBC and Fox Business. She can be reached at info@CraftBeerAttorney.com or visit her website at CraftBeerAttorney.com.
Jake Nunes— Beer Styles II
Tasting Room Manager & Certified Cicerone®, North Park Beer Co.
Jake Nunes is a veteran of San Diego's food and beverage industry and has over 20 years of experience with a focus on management and bar leadership. He developed his passion for craft beer in 2003 while working at Karl Strauss and has since proven himself to be a true craft beer enthusiast, having sampled thousands of different beers and visited more than one hundred breweries. In addition to Karl Strauss, he has held positions at a number of breweries and craft beer establishments including: Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, Stone Brewing, Green Flash Brewing, Tiger! Tiger! Tavern, and he is now the Tasting Room Manager for North Park Beer Co. Nunes was awarded the title of Certified Cicerone® in 2011.
Michael Peacock — Draught Systems
Michael Peacock has almost 40 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, working for companies such as Coca-Cola, U.S. Foodservice, Jack's Cocktail and Tavern Supply, NuCO2, and Glacier Design Systems. These experiences led to starting his own beverage services company, TapCraft. His backgruond includes dispensing system design, operations, R & D, distribution, quality assurance, training, marketing, and sales. His Draught Systems course curriculum follows the guidelines set by the Brewers Association, with an emphasis on safety, quality, waste reduction, and best practices.
“Dr.” Bill Sysak — Exploring Craft Beer and Craft Beer and Food Pairing
Co-Founder/CEO and Certified Cicerone®, Wild Barrel Brewing Co.
Bill Sysak is known in the inner circle of craft-beerdom as a master of zymurgical knowledge and is a Certified Cicerone®. In 2009, he joined Stone Brewing Company as the beverage supervisor and became the craft beer ambassador, putting on unparalleled beer and food pairing events and created amazing festivals such as Sour Fest and Oakquinox. In 2016, Sysak co-foundeed Wild Barrel Brewing Co. One of the most knowledgeable craft beer experts in the industry, Sysak has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, the LA Times, Draft magazine, Imbibe, and Food & Wine. He can also be found on the popular podcasts “New Brew Thursday” where he does a weekly “Master Pairings” segment; and “Expert Drinking” where he educates fans on the best of craft beers, fine wines, and spirits.
GeorgeThornton — Beer Styles I and Brewing Basics
Founder/Owner of The Home brewer in North Park
George Thornton began homebrewing in 2001, and is the founder/owner of The Homebrewer: Resource Center (2012) and Home Brewing Co. (2014) in North Park. He is BJCP and Cicerone® certified, and an active member of several homebrew clubs.