John started brewing beer as a hobby, after his wife Tracy gifted him a home-brewing kit, more than 25 years ago. He quickly advanced from starter kits to using his plumbing and heating background to build a custom 1/2bbl home-brewing system. A plumber by trade, he spent his spare time building his repertoire and reputation in the brewing world.
He quickly became frequent of the home-brew competition circuit, medaling in the National Homebrew Competition with his recipes featured in Zymurgy. In 2000, he was named New England Home Brewer of the Year and in 2004 earned Best of Show at the Master's Championship of Amateur Brewing.
After winning a local home-brew competition sponsored by the former Hammer & Nail Brewers in Watertown, he brewed his oatmeal stout for commercial release under their label.
In addition to being a Certified Beer Judge, he also does sensory analysis, judging the flavor, aroma, and appearance of beer and spirits for trade periodicals such as Yankee Brew News and Modern Distillery Age.
He is the brewer and owner of Watson Farmhouse Brewery in Southbury and also the head brewer at NewSylum Brewing Company on the Fairfield Hills Campus in Newtown.
We just hung our Hand Burned sign. This was a ribbon board that hung in the Weston Grange. My grandfather Thomas Studwell made it for the Grange Fair. Every year the area residents would enter their vegetables, flowers, and artwork. If you won a ribbon it was tacked to this board after the judging. We thought the history was perfect for our farm driven brewery so we had Farm Fresh Reclaimed hand burn our brewery logo into it.
Meet Our Creative Designer ~ Emily Barnes