Meet the Brewer
Erik Jefferts - Brew Master
Erik started his career in the brewing industry in the late 1980’s in Seattle, at the Big Time Brewing Company. What began as a part-time job working as a doorman soon became a full-time endeavor as the assistant brewmaster and night manager of the pub. Erik’s love of the brewing process led him to seek further experience, first as the head brewer at another brewpub, Seattle’s Duwamps Brewery, and then as a “jack of all trades” at one of the Northwest’s first production breweries: Hale’s Ales, in Kirkland.
Seeking the opportunity to be involved from the beginning in a new brewery endeavor, Erik relocated to Colorado in 1992. After a year working in the brewing incubator of Fort Collins, Erik joined a team assembled by John Hickenlooper, founder of the first brewpub in Colorado, the Wynkoop Brewing Company. This group renovated and transformed the historic Cheyenne Building in downtown Colorado Springs into the award-winning Phantom Canyon Brewing Company. As brewmaster and managing partner, Erik installed and operated the brewery, and was a key partner in the design and renovation of the entire three-story, 15,000 square foot restaurant, billiards hall, and banquet facility. Since its opening in 1993, this brewpub has consistently won national awards for its beer, food, and historic preservation of the building. Phantom Canyon currently grosses over $5 million in annual sales.
The Brewmaster’s Thoughts on Beer
“My ‘philosophy of beer’ is that the brewer should try to offer a wide variety, something for everyone,” said Jefferts. “My personal favorites are hoppy ambers and IPA’s. My goal is well-made, interesting beers, some of which will push the envelope in terms of hop levels and alcohol content.”
Michael Blaschak - Head Brewer
Michael originally hails from Orange, California, and earned his degree in Physics from Cal Poly, Pomona. However, he found his passion in brewing, learning the vocation at Bayhawk Ales - Orange County's oldest brewery. Michael furthered his knowledge by working at breweries around Colorado, and joined Lassen Ale Works over two years ago, as the head brewer.
Michael enjoys creating new brews for the local and regional community of beer enthusiasts, and looks forward to discussing beer with you over a pint at the Pioneer Saloon.