Food

You Should Quit Your Job and Become a Brewer, Just Like These Guys

Behind many a Washington brewery is a scruffy-faced dude who escaped a 9-to-5 job. From left to right: Matt Rose, Mike Sutherland, Justin Cox, Jonathan Reeves, Tolga Baki, Nathan Zeender, Aaron Ludwig, and Mark Osborne. Photographs by Scott Suchman

Matt Rose

Founder, Forge Brew Works

Matt Rose, founder of Forge Brew Works.

Brewing professionally since: 2013.

Growing beard since: 2011—until a shaving accident in June caused him to turn it into a goatee.

Previous job: Aerospace engineer.


Mike Sutherland

Lead brewer, New District Brewing Co.

The lead brewer at new District Brewing Co., Mike Sutherland. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Brewing professionally since: January 2016.

Growing mustache since: November 2015.

Other job: Membership sales representative at a gym.


Justin Cox

Founder and CEO, Atlas Brew Works

Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Brewing professionally since: 2013.

Growing beard since: 2012.

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Previous job: Presidential management fellow.



Jonathan Reeves

Head brewer, Port City Brewing Co.

Jonathan Reeves. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Brewing professionally since: 1995.

Growing beard since: 2006.

Previous job: Darkroom technician.


Tolga Baki

Cofounder, Belly Love Brewing Company

Tolga Bahi. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Brewing professionally since: 2014.

Growing beard since: 2012.

Previous job: Worked in distribution of flexible packaging (such as plastic bags).


Nathan Zeender

Head brewer and co-owner, Right Proper Brewing Company

Nathan Zeender. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Brewing professionally since: 2013.

Growing beard since: May.

Previous job: Database administrator.


Aaron Ludwig

Co-owner and brewery-operations manager, Tin Cannon Brewing Co.

Aaron Ludwig. Photograph Scott Suchman.

Brewing professionally since: 2014.

Growing beard since: 2002.

Other job: Process supervisor at Micron Technology.


Mark Osborne

Founder, Adroit Theory Brewing

Mark Osborne. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Brewing professionally since: 2014.

Growing stubble since: 2006.

Other job: Owns a housepainting business.

This article appears in our August 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.