Jose Martinez, Lead Brewer
Jose started home-brewing in 2011 when he was stationed in California, while serving in the United States Navy. During his time in California Jose picked up several accolades for his brews, including a Silver Medal in the San Diego State Fair. After serving his country Jose decided to turn his passion for craft beer into a career, and before returning to his hometown of Bradenton, he bolstered his knowledge at the Siebel Institute in Chicago’s Brewing School. Jose is happiest when he’s creating or working with his hands – whether that’s wrenching on his Harley, fixing up old hot rods or belting out vocals (in English & Spanish) in his punk band, Green Bastard.
Q: What sparked your interest in craft beer (any brew in particular that started it all)?
A: My love for craft beer and brewing all started when I was in the Navy. I had just turned 21 and was having some beers with my fellow shipmates at the Naval Base’s bowling alley. There was a strange looking gargoyle tap handle in the bar with the letters “Stone IPA” emblazoned down the front. I had never heard of an IPA, but I had never met a beer I didn’t like so I figured: “What the hell, why not give it a shot?” That first taste of a real, handcrafted brew is one that I will never forget. From then on, I was hooked. After some successful homebrews, I soon made it my mission to do what I love for a living: make world class beer.
Q: What were the great and not-so-great aspects of life on a Navy ship? Any good (SFW) port-of-call stories?
A: The absolute greatest thing about the Navy is getting to see the world. The travel can be challenging, but it’s incredibly rewarding to literally broaden your horizons at sea. The downside is that you see the world floating around in a cramped tin box (U.S.S. Thach FFG-43) with roughly 180 other dudes. However, it was 100% worth it. There is a certain pride that comes with serving one’s country and venturing out into the vast unknown. I can’t delve too much into what happens in port (Vegas rules apply: “What happens in port, stays in port.”), but I will say I got to traverse the Straits of Magellan between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Braving those unpredictable tides like so many explorers before me was one of the coolest things I have ever done.
Q: Top three shows you’ve ever been to? Any bucket-list bands you’re still chomping at the bit to see?
A: Three of the best shows I’ve ever been to were The Sword, Iron Maiden, and Ghost. I’m definitely still trying to see Electric Wizard, Pentagram, and Fu Manchu.
Q: What does your apocalyptic war rig look like? Make? Model? Do you go with spikes and buzz saws, or a gnarly, Mad Max-style amplifier stack?
A: My “End Times” war rig would definitely be the car from Vanishing Point: the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, but with some major modifications. I would be running a huge blower and the suspension would be setup to run a Baja 1000. As far as apocalyptic weaponry goes, I would install a swivel mounted 50 cal. machine gun on the roof with dual grenade launchers. Sounds legit.
Q: What ingredients or flavor combos are you most interested in exploring when it comes to beer?
A: Honestly, growing up in a Mexican household majorly influenced a lot of what I’m interested in bringing to my brews. I’m very intrigued with chili peppers of all varieties; I’m a bit of a hot head and I really enjoy spice and the complexity of heat on the palate. More recently, I have really been digging flowers and herbs. I would love to do more with these elements as a way to showcase my unique heritage and style.
Q: Last but no least, what styles of beer do you typically enjoy? Go-to Motorworks brew?
A: With how hot it’s been lately, I’ve been drinking a lot of our Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA. But I never hesitate to reach for a beer I haven’t tried before.