How We Run

Being a coop means you would be at the very top of our organization as a member-owner! Among the many perks of being a member owner is that you can run to be on the Board of Directors or help elect a board that will serve you. 

Meet Your Board of Directors

CEO & acting President

John Degroote

Since before I could legally drink I’ve been brewing beer. Sophomore year of college is when it all started, when my roommates and I bought a bargain beginners kit and brewed our first beer. We started with a pale ale, and it turned out mostly OK. For some reason it tasted like peaches, but smelled like barley, which to 20 year olds was exciting. Then we brewed our second beer….A Christmas ale. It tasted like Santa did grotesque things to our chimney, which is why we made a label for it that featured a picture of just that!

I studied biomedical engineering in college, which involved a lot of biology, physics and lab experiments. I suppose that’s why brewing appealed to me. It takes an understanding of organic interactions (mash enzymes, yeast fermentation, water chemistry etc.) but also a good handle on precision, accuracy and the physics of heaters, chillers and fluid dynamics.

Needless to say, those first two beers were enough to make me obsessed with this hobby. I’ve spent years reading, researching and figuring out why beer turns out the way it does, and I’d like to think it’s rather good now. I don’t brew Christmas beers anymore, but the Stouts, Pale Ales, Belgians and Wheat beers have gotten some honest praise from friends and strangers alike. I figured why not try and make a business out of it? As they say, you only live once.

COO & acting Vice President

Matthew Witterschein

 

I have no interest in brewing; I was just brought on for my handiness to help the brewery grow. All sarcasm aside, I've been helping John brew since some of his earliest days. We go back to the days of college, when everyone is excited to get away from their parents, become social binge drinkers, and have those awkward interactions with members of the opposite sex. Little did I know, we'd be doing everything in lockstep over the next several years: same major, same fraternity, same graduate school, roommates, and we both began at the same company to kick-start our career. Even though we currently don’t live together (a certain woman had to interfere with their relationship: Nora),come Friday, we still are partners in crime regardless of who or what comes between us.

Everyone has that one friend who will make a fool of himself to get a laugh out of others. Whether my friends like me or love me, I am one of the Eight Wonders of the World. Anyone who meets me should know is that they are #blessed to have been graced by my presence. When it comes to accomplishments in life, I really don't have too much, other than a long list of degrees (but mainly just the names of them): Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and Master of Science in Healthcare Technology Management, among others. Ever since my high school guidance counselor told me I wasn’t smart enough to be a doctor, I took a keen interest in engineering and the human body. Now in beer brewing, I can help engineer what goes into the body. Hint: It’s our beer!

Some might say I'm the puppeteer (engineer/handyman) and that John has the ideas that need to come to life. It is with this great friendship and partnership that we work so well together. One could suggest that I just look stuff up on YouTube and “know” exactly what I am talking about and how to do it. Wherever my learning comes from and when combined with the engineering background of smart some dudes (and a dudette!), you get a product that “almost looks like they know what they are doing.” Hopefully you are enjoying this little snippet into his life and having a laugh, even if it is at my expense. I wouldn’t have it any other way. As my old Irish grandma would say: "Here's to you, here's to me. May we never disagree. But if we do, to hell with you. So here's to me!" Or as any other normal human being: Cheers!

CFO & acting Treasurer

Michael Mack

As any devout (read: Green Bay Packer-obsessed) Wisconsinite knows, beer is simply ingrained in the culture here. Most kids regrettably try a tiny sip of their Dad’s beer around age 8, and by the time they reach college-age are ok with choking down a beer or two to fit in. That’s when I knew I was different. Instead of buying the Toilet Water Light special of the week, I was always eager to try new, full-flavored beers –everything from lagers to IPAs to Belgians and beyond. I guess you could say I was the beer snob of the group, which also made me the de facto guinea pig for half-baked home brews. Sometimes they were ok, but more often than not I had to hide my facial expressions while scrambling to come up with something positive to say.

I met John, Nora and Matt in the spring of 2014. For reasons I may never never know, it was several months before I first tried John’s home brew. After just one sip, I knew he had something special. I believe my reaction was along the lines of “holy (expletive) John, this beer is amazing!” I soon found out that he had brewed 30+ batches over the prior eight years, and unbeknownst to me, was already formulating the vision that would become New Barons.

John first introduced me to that vision late in the summer of 2015. The business plan was well under way, and it became apparent that they needed someone with experience in business and finance – areas I’ve focused on for four (and a half) years of undergrad and nearly four years in the workforce. Affectionately referred to as “the finance guy,” I will work with the rest of the team to ensure we create a stable financial foundation, produce well-thought out projections and manage the day-to-day record keeping and financial reporting of the business.

Marketing Director

Sarah Hand

As the lone transplant of the group (originally from IL..I know, I know...) I have fully embraced being a Wisconsinite. As a UW-Whitewater grad, I've been drinking beer for quite some time. It definitely didn't start as good beer. We're talking Dimers & Quarter beers at the UWW bars... After graduating is really when I started getting into craft beer. So much so, that today, I am also a Homebrewer. After designing a full brand for not 1, but 2 fake breweries, I knew this is what I was meant to do.

My passions are beer & design so finding a way to combine these in anyway is the perfect scenario for me. After designing the logo for the Milwaukee Craft Brewery League, I was introduced to some amazing individuals in the industry. The people, the atmosphere, the vibe; everything about it led me to where I am today.

As a brewery, NBBC has such a unique business model to the state of WI. Milwaukee was born to house a co-op brewery. It's all about connecting people with different backgrounds through the love of beer & community. That's why our motto is such a strong part of New Barons. Locally Brewed. Community Fueled. Member Owned. Cheers!

Social Director

Heidi Dalibor

I’ve always been a ‘Yes’ person. Yes is why I’ve had jobs from karaoke host to traveling sales rep to IT recruiter. It is why I’ve been skydiving 3 times, seen different parts of the world, and why I have a tattoo I hate. And Yes is why I now have the amazing opportunity to work as New Baron’s Event Manager. When I was first introduced to the team, it was because they were in need of front-of-house experience. I’ve been in the industry for quite some time and after trying the beer, and learning about the business model I realized this was a natural fit. You’re telling me I get to work with people, plan parties, and brew some of the best beer in the city?? – It was a no-brainer.

If I had to pick my favorite thing about my 15 years in the service industry, it would be the people. I’ve been a waitress behind the counter of a small town diner, a bartender behind the bar at a fine dining restaurant, and every job in between. I’ve had the great opportunity to meet interesting people of all walks of life and it never gets old. I currently work full time as an IT recruiter but you will still find me behind the pine at several Milwaukee bars two nights a week.

NBBC’s adventurous and inclusive spirit towards brewing is something I am very excited about. I’m passionate about the opportunities we can offer all kinds of people, the limits can and will push, and the open-door nature of the co-op model. We are doing something truly unique and there is no better place than Milwaukee to do it. It’s my job to help bring people together by hosting some awesome events. I hope to connect people all over Milwaukee, across the state, and beyond. If you see me out, I hope you stop and introduce yourself – I’m excited to show you what we are all about and to get to know you (hopefully over a beer)!

Director of Sales

Jay Tarbah

I got into Sales because I was told that I could take clients out for drinks and my company would foot the bill. I learned at an early age that communication was my strength when I convinced a grade school teacher to change a grade from incomplete to an "A," and it was all downhill from there. I grew up abroad where beer is full flavored and they mock US beers for being light; I think that is because those poor souls never played Beer Pong/Flip Cup/anything fun - have you ever played Beer Pong with a Heineken?

I was brought into this organization by Heidi, NBBC's Event Coordinator. She had a 6-pack of brews I had never seen before, and after a couple of sips I needed to know where to get more. She told me about "her brewery," how they have brew days monthly where the beer flows for free, and how other "Members" gathered and got to know each other - and it was that following Saturday - you better believe I was there. Within an hour I was signed up as a Member/Owner, and two weeks later I was interviewed for the Board.

I think my story is the perfect example of why NBBC is so special. Each and every member has brought some value to our organization; be it spreading the word about what we are doing, Architecting our future bar, or voting on the direction NBBC will grow. I hope to use my vast experience in the Sales/Marketing world to do as much as I can to ensure a future where NBBC Member/Owners can find their favorite beer at their favorite bar where they can brag about how they have a stake in every sip.