Category Archives: Featured Interview

Featured Interview – Tyler Moles, Beerfest Organizer

While “Beerfest Organizer” isn’t Tyler Moles’s actual job title at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, it may as well be right now. Beerfest is one of the most important fund raising events for the local charitable organization, whose mission it is to help all children achieve success in life.

We spoke to Tyler about Beerfest, his role at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, and his street cred as a craft beer lover.

What is your title at BBBSO, and how long have you held the role?

Development Director – I’ve had this role for almost 2 whole days.  For the 5 months before that I was the Development Officer.

This is your first year working with BBBSO and Ozarks BeerFest.  How did you get involved with this organization?

I have volunteered at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks events for a few years now.  I feel very passionately that youth mentoring is one of the most important elements of building a strong community.  By helping children realize their potential they can become productive and happy adults.  This in turn helps them raise the next generation outside of the cycle of poverty.

Are you a craft beer nerd?

People that are overly enthusiastic about craft beer are not nerds.  They are cultured.

Let’s establish your craft beer fan street cred:

What’s your favorite beer style?

I am a huge fan of IPA’s, but really for a beer to be good it mostly just needs to be a beer… and not have fruit in it.

Have you ever made beer at home?

A couple of times with mixed results.  I’ve been told that the secret is to either know how to do it or to follow a recipe.

Let’s imagine you’re going to cook a steak on the grill at home? What are you going to drink with it?

Beer, of course.  Responsibly.   I can’t tell you the kind of beer.  We have a lot of fantastic breweries that are awesome enough to come and help us put on Ozarks Beerfest.  I don’t want to risk upsetting any of my beer brewing friends by naming a favorite. I will tell you that it’s likely going to be a local favorite (It’s an ale and it’s pale).

What experience do you bring to the event that you feel has been particularly helpful?

I’ve thrown a lot of parties and helped to put together events in order to try and make the world a better place.  As a Sertoman, I have been involved with the planning of several awesome events, including Wingapalooza, Sertoma Chili Cook-off, and Cashew Craze.  I am stoked to be able take what I’ve learned and apply it to Ozarks Beerfest.  Make no mistake, this is a different kind of event, but I promise you that it is going to be out of this world.

BeerFest patrons enjoying samples
The 2013 event was the first at which homebrewed beer was allowed to be served due to a change in state law. Pictured, members of the Zymurgists of the Ozarks and employees of The Homebrewery share samples of homebrewed beer.

What makes this year’s BeerFest different from the event in previous years?

More craft beers for one thing.  We have a lot of new breweries represented this year.  In addition we have more food, more games, we even have a stein holding competition lined up for your enjoyment.

We noticed that you set a limit this year on those VIP tickets.  What’s the deal?

We’ve got some really cool things going for VIP’s so we want to keep the crowd down during VIP hours.  By limiting the number of attendees during these hours, VIPs will be able to fully enjoy the VIP experience.

What are the benefits of purchasing VIP tickets?

We have some really cool breakout sessions lined up with the brewmasters from some of the breweries.  We will be releasing more details shortly.  These sessions will be only available to VIP ticket holders. 

VIPs will get in 2 full hours early at noon.  They will get an awesome commemorative mug.  They will also get $10 in Beer Bucks to use on beer merchandise.

What do I get with my general admission ticket?

A general admission ticket will get you in to the event at 2:00 p.m.  You’ll get an awesome pilsner style Ozarks Beerfest tasting glass which you can use to sample any of over 100 different beers.

Where can I see what breweries will be represented at this year’s festival?

We’ve got a very small handful listed on .  Really, I’m thinking of making people wait to see how massive the full list is.  I want to make sure there are enough surprises to keep Beerfest fresh.

What food vendors will be there?

We’ve got tons of beer related food this year.  Farmland is bringing in 1000 Boulevard bratwursts.  Rold Gold is bringing in 1000 bags of pretzels.   Rib Crib is bringing in barbeque.  Garbo’s is bringing in pizza.   You can check out some of the other awesome restaurants on  That said, there will be more than what is listed on the website.

So I have purchased my ticket and I’m inside the event. What, besides beer and food, will I find inside?

You’ll find Beer Plinko, Beer Lovers Lane (where you can find merchandise from the breweries.  We’ll have a few surprises as well. 

What part of BeerFest are you most looking forward to?

5:00 pm when the event is over.  That is when I can sample a beer.

Purchase your tickets for Ozarks Beerfest online or at Select Price Cutter Locations, Springfield Brewing Company, Mother’s Brewing Company, The Home Brewery, White River Brewery, and all Springfield Rapid Roberts locations.

For more info about the food and beer you’ll find at the event, make sure to check out

VIP tickets (200 available) are $50 per person and include the following perks:

  • 2 hour early admittance at noon
  • Exclusive breakout sessions
  • Signature VIP Mug

$10 of Beer Bucks to spend on merchandise at the event

General Admission tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door. They include your own tasting glass and admission from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

Featured Interview – Leaky Roof Meadery’s Todd Rock

Leaky Roof Meadery
Exterior of Leaky Roof Meadery in Buffalo, Missouri

As you may have noticed, Leaky Roof Mead is now out and about town in its fancy new cans.  For a little background, I had a brief conversation with Leaky Roof Meadery owner and head meadmaker, Todd Rock.

Continue reading Featured Interview – Leaky Roof Meadery’s Todd Rock

Core Brewing Company – Interview with Jesse Core

I recently had a chance to talk to Core Brewing Company‘s founder, Jesse Core, about their recent expansion into Southwest Missouri, his choice to go pro, and why he’s excited to introduce you to his beer.

First, tell me a little bit about how Core Brewing got started. What triggered the idea, and what convinced you that you could go commercial?

First, I have been brewing beer over 20 years. It has always been something that I loved doing. I will be a homebrewer as long as I live! As a software engineer, I had the opportunity to live in some beer-centric areas such as Boulder (3 years) and San Diego (7 years). When I had the chance to move back home, I missed the beer-culture and saw an opportunity to help locally.

Then, I just did a cannon-ball into the deep end!

The Core Brewing Team
The Core Team, photo courtesy of Core Brewing and Distilling

You guys were opened in 2010, but you’re now one of Arkansas’ largest breweries in terms of volume production and distribution. Tell us a little bit about how that journey went.

Currently, Diamond Bear is the largest in terms of sales. We have the largest available capacity.

If all goes well, maybe we can give Diamond Bear a run for their money soon. Our overarching theme is simple, quality product. I regularly iterate to my team the need to focus on quality, quality, and quality. If we make great product, the business-side will be pushed by the demand.

And fortunately, that is happening. Demand has given us the opportunity to grow rapidly. So, we are very grateful for the support.

That’s some serious growth. What have been the biggest growing pains you’ve encountered?

As with any startup, cash is something that has to be managed well. Rapid growth can put a strain on cash-flow. I feel we have done a good job in that area to date. Also, putting together a team of dedicated, positive, hard-working folks takes time. I am very proud of our Core Team. We are a group of laid-back, good-hearted people who feel lucky to be doing what we do.

Core Brewing Cans preparing to be filled with deliciousness.
Core Brewing Cans preparing to be filled with deliciousness. Photo courtesy of Core Brewing and Distilling.

Were there any times in the past four years that you thought about giving up? If so, can you provide any examples?

No f’n way. This is my dream job. The work is incredibly hard, but extremely rewarding. My personality does not allow me to give up. I have a responsibility to my employees, investors, banks, family, and community to make this company a big success.

What is the most important lesson you learned in operating a brewery?

Find people you can rely on. As much as I love brewing, I have other responsibilities that pull me away from my passion. If you have a team that you can count on, you can focus on growing the company. Like I said, I know I can count on the group that I have.

So-called experts know jack. If you are passionate about opening a brewery, there will be a 100 experts telling you how hard it is why it can’t or shouldn’t be done. Screw em’. Jump into the deep end head first!

What’s with the slogan, “Take Pride in Your Wiener!”?

Our mascot/logo is my ol’ wiener dog, Barney. We just have a lot of fun with the marketing surrounding wiener dogs.

Do you have any advice for a homebrewer who wants to make the jump to commercial brewing?

See my previous points on the so-called experts. I am certainly not an expert. In fact, I am learning new stuff daily. All I can do is offer some of my experience. Take it or leave it.

Making good beer is important, very important. Just make sure that you have the business side covered. Brewing and Distilling is capital intensive. Align yourself with good partners and make sure you are properly capitalized. Under-capitalization is the death of startups. Also, I am happy share my experiences with whomever wants to swing by the brewery for a beer. Just hit me up at

You used to be a computer programmer by trade. Has that experience affected your success as a brewer or business owner? How?

I am a nerd. I love processes. I love improving processes. I love automating processes. As a software guy I learned how to take big problems and break them down into bite-sized chunks.

Brewery issues can be daunting, very daunting. My experience allows me to compartmentalize them and communicate them to my team in a way that can be executed efficiently.

The Core Brewing and Distilling Pub
The Pub at Core Brewing has beer in it. And it’s GOOD. Photo courtesy of Core Brewing and Distilling.

I noticed your brewery no longer has a web page, but has a large presence on Facebook and Twitter. Why did you decide to eliminate your web page and focus on Social Media?

Good question. We are in the process of redesigning our website to better integrate with our mobile applications and social media.

What has triggered your expansion of distribution into Southwest Missouri? Why now?

Frankly, we were not ready. We want to grow intelligently and make sure we are well represented in Missouri. Missouri has a strong craft beer base. We needed to make sure that we were 100% ready.

What beers will Southwest Missourians be able to find in stores or on draft in the area? Can you tell us a little about each one?

All of our staples and seasonals including ESB, Leg Hound, Behemoth Pilsner, 2x Red, Oatmeal Stout, Hilltop IPA, Toasted Coconut Brown, Hazelnut Brown, and many more!

I understand your beer is not found in 12 oz bottles, but can only be found in cans, 22 oz bottles, and on draft. Why cans?

Well… soon it will be. We recently purchased an automated 12-oz bottle filler to complement our cans and bombers. In addition to being more sustainable, cans can be taken to the game or to the lake or places where bottles are not allowed. I now actually prefer to drink beer out of our cans rather than bottles… That being said, to each his own. If you like bottles, we have those too!

Your business is called Core Brewing and Distilling. What’s up with the distilling?

Only took the BIG GOV 19 months to get us approved but we are now a distillery as well. I have recently distilled our Toasted Coconut Brown Ale into a spirit and it tastes great. I have also distilled a 50% Wheat – 50% Barley whiskey as well. I am having a lot of fun with this side of the business and look forward to making some fun and interesting products.

What is your favorite part about being a brewer and brewery owner?

Making beer is tough, very tough. But, when I see our customers enjoying our product, I feel incredible. I love making customers happy. As brewery owner, it makes me feel fantastic when I see the team executing well, fixing things they are not asked to, and helping their colleagues without being asked to. When you see this, you know you have a good team.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know about Core Beer?

Just that I am grateful for the support. If ever you get down to NWA, please swing by the brewery. We have a pub that is open every day until 9:00pm with live music on the weekends.