John: Co-Founder and owner
John has resided in Carver County since the early 1990's, when a job offer with a start-up drug firm brought him back to the land of his family's roots. In 2013, John left a career in pharmaceutical marketing and product planning to pursue a long held dream in starting a microbrewery with longtime friend, Dan Norton. "I wanted to build a company that would make products that people enjoy, and create an environment that employees would find rewarding and fun. I've watched the microbrewery industry develop over the past decades and believe it is poised for continued strong growth, especially in lesser developed markets. We've assembled a great team. We have all the ingredients for making great beer and have created in Victoria's historic creamery building the perfect environment for our team and for our guests to experience wonderful beers and make new friends."
John studied biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State University many years ago and is now attempting to relearn basic chemistry to help optimize our water profiles to match the beer styles ENKI is brewing. He and his wife Lisa, reside in Victoria, with their youngest son, Grant. John's older children, Ryan, Jeff, and Kerry, live in Minnesota and are likely to be seen working at and enjoying the brewery with friends.
Hailing from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, ENKI's brewmaster, Jason Davis is a great asset to the budding brewery. Jason has been professionally brewing since 1995, producing more than a dozen styles of beer, spanning the varietal spectrum from honey ales to barley wines to stouts. Bringing home gold, silver, and bronze medals at the Great American Beer Fest, Jason's experience and attention to detail are invaluable assets to the ENKI team. Additionally, Jason spent the last three years in retail and product management at Midwest Supplies, always staying familiar with new hop and malt varieties to hit the craft beer scene. Jason resides in South Minneapolis with his wife and teenage daughter.
Dan: Co-Founder and owner
Dan started his career as a high end athletic performance shoe designer at NIKE in New England. His custom designs found their way to the feet of 45 world class athletes who were wearing Dan's shoes as they became Olympic Champions and World Record Holders. Was it merely coincidence that they wore Dan's shoes while achieving their victories? We think not. So with Dan making our official brewing shoes we expect similarly high achievements.
It was also at NIKE that Dan and John started a long time running and beer tasting partnership. At the end of a hard run they would often go in search of local pubs that offered robust, flavorful beers, which at that time were primarily from European breweries. In those days it was rare to find a bar that kept even one interesting beer on tap. Fortunately for all of us, things are much better now.
Dan's shoe work eventually landed him in Germany, heading up Adidas advanced concepts team. We have no information on any records set in the shoes Dan created while at Adidas but he did achieve a record number of visits to breweries throughout the country, bringing back 151 beer steins from his visits. Would it be redundant to say that Dan really likes European beers?
Dan's brewery tours in Bavaria imparted in him an appreciation for the diversity in beer styles, the nuances between beers of the same style offered by different brewers, and the cultural significance of beer serving techniques and of course proper drinking traditions. Dan's familiarity with beer traditions makes him perfect for leading the design of our beers, which are certain to break tradition—and maybe even break some records along the way.
Karie: Instigator of Camaraderie
Looking to combine all her loves of people, food, and beer, Karie made a delightful fall into the craft beer industry in 2007, working for JJ Taylor beer distributor, emphasizing on small, artisanal breweries. In early 2010, she then made her transition to the brewery business, promoting New Belgium's line of beers. Karie's craft beer map now has a new landmark: ENKI Brewing Co. As the Instigator of Camaraderie, Karie will be ENKI's feet on the street, focusing on all things sales and marketing. "I'm incredibly excited for such a unique opportunity. I am fortunate enough to help build ENKI Brewing from the ground up in an industry I just love. I firmly believe in our mission – making friends. I can think of few better ways to do so than by enjoying a pint of finely crafted brew."
After graduating from MSU, Mankato with a degree in Speech Communication, Karie trained in classical French culinary technique at Le Cordon Bleu. While interning for America's Test Kitchen in Boston, Karie discovered the delicious and vast world of craft beer.
Dave: Instigator of Camaraderie
With over twenty years’ experience in restaurants, Dave’s true passion for craft beer emerged in 2000 while working for Hops Grillhouse and Brewery. He expanded his knowledge of the beer scene working at Old Chicago and Axel’s Bonfire, before joining the ENKI team. Dave has a knack for making people feel welcome and shares in our common bond of enthusiasm for making friends. Now, he's out on the streets, providing Twin Cities bars and restaurants with all ENKI has to offer. “This is the golden age of craft beer in Minnesota. I’m excited to be part of the ENKI team, making the world a friendlier place two beers at a time.”
Dave grew up in the Chicagoland area and attended college at Southern Illinois University. He found his home in Minnesota, as an avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast. Dave resides in Chaska with his wife, two young daughters, and loyal dog.