Know Your Brewer: David Kozloski of GearHouse Brewing Company

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Although GearHouse Brewing Company just opened its doors to the craft beer masses, their head brewer David Kozloski has been perfecting and honing his craft for this opportunity for years.

Kozloski’s experience is eclectic and it is what has led to him churning out his own takes on American-style craft beers like IPAs, blonde ales and more.

»»READ: Review of GearHouse Brewing Company

“Brewing is like music,” said Kozloski. “Everyone has a version, but not everyone’s is good.”

His version of brewing comes down to an American-style with a more hop-forward focus. GearHouse also has an emphasis on everything local and craft.

Kozloski continues this into his brewing by using local barrels to age beer plus local ingredients like Nathan Miller Chocolate in one of his upcoming brews.

“I just brew with how I feel that day,” said Kozloski. “I might not have a recipe in place until the night before a brew day or even the day of.”

Kozloski says that he looks at what he wants and knows the numbers from his years of education and experiences in breweries across the region.

Background in brewing

Before he ever dumped hops into a boil, Kozloski spent eight years in the Marine reserves, including a tour in Kuwait and Iraq in 2004, before heading off to school to study biology and chemistry but ultimately graduate with a degree in criminal justice.

His first experience with the fermentable arts was at Breaux Vineyards while still working at an engineering firm as a construction inspector.

“I was applying for a part-time tasting room position, but I showed up on the wrong side of the vineyard and ended up meeting the head vintner,” said Kozloski. “He took my resume and called me shortly after to offer me a job as his assistant vintner.”

During this job, Kozloski also started to try his hand at brewing when his wife gave him a pale ale homebrew kit. For the next three years, he continued to brew and craft more recipes.

“One evening, our neighbors were having a party that quickly migrated to our apartment where everybody drank an entire bucket of this cherry stout I had made,” said Kozloski. “It was unfinished beer, but everyone loved it.”

It was at this moment that he realized his talent and knack for brewing. He soon landed his first professional brewing gig as one of the final hires for Flying Dog Brewing Company’s new home in Frederick.

After spending five years with Flying Dog, he was out of work for a few months before he got an unexpected call from another brewery in Pennsylvania.

“My wife sent my application into Troegs without me knowing,” said Kozloski. “They called me almost immediately, but I had no idea that they already had my application.”

He accepted the position and spent two years as a brewer at Troegs before deciding he wanted to start his own project with a group of friends. Troegs was generous and let Kozloski take the time he needed to get the project up and running while maintaining his job at the brewery.

Making of a brewery

GearHouse’s ownership is comprised of three couples who connected over their love of craft beer and biking, hence the gears theme that is prevalent throughout the brewery.

“I gave Troegs about an eight-months notice,” said Kozloski. “At that time, I would work my shift at the brewery and then come here to do more work. Sometimes it was about an 18-hour day.”

The brewhouse at GearHouse is comprised of different tanks put together to fit Kozloski’s exact specifications. The most interesting tanks are the ones they call “Minions” because they look like well, Minions from Despicable Me.

These seven-barrel units are used for fermenting upcoming beers as well as a serving vessel for the freshest beer possible. The building is a beautiful space that is as inviting as it is functional. Outside, they have a hop yard where they can harvest hops just feet away from their future home in the brewery

The building is a beautiful space that is as inviting as it is functional. Outside, they have a hop yard where they can harvest hops just feet away from their future home in the brewery.

Just over a year after buying the building, GearHouse had their beer in the hands of an eager customer base. Their first weekend featured three beers, and now they have almost all of the taps filled up with something for everyone.

GearHouse is currently open Fridays and Saturdays from 4-10 p.m. with plans of expanded hours after the Grand Opening Party on Friday, Jan. 27 (TONIGHT).

James Werner
Author: James Werner

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