Lake Effect Brewing Co. Team
Clint Bautz, owner
Clint has been obsessed with beer since an early age. He visited Germany in his early 20s and fell in love with Kolschbier, Lagers, and Weissbier. A few years later be found himself in the paradise of Belgium diving deep into Lambics, Wits, Blondes and Trappist Ales. The foundation of his travels lead to his intensive and experimental hobby of homebrewing which became a sizable home operation taking over several rooms of his Chicago flat. In 2008 he wrote the business plan for the next logical step developing his passion for great beer- Lake Effect Brewing Company and after a few years he fired up the brewhouse in his warehouse space at the end of an alley off Montrose Ave. Clint was the head brewer for the first few years but has gradually focused his attention on brewery operations, sales, and administration. He loves spending time with his loving family, camping, playing guitar, cooking, and is a connoisseur of Gin.
Eric Ullrich has been brewing with Lake Effect Brewing since June 2015. He is the Head Brewer and the lead trainer. Eric has a background in environmental science and culinary arts. He enjoys going to concerts and traveling. His favorite beers are German beers, and at Lake Effect, kolsch stlye beers are his top choice.
Dave Krone was a home brewer for over three years before he started an internship with Lake Effect Brewing in January 2016. He had retired from his career as a telephone man. Traveling is one of his favorite things to do, and Spain has been his favorite country so far. ESB is one of his favorite styles. At Lake Effect Brewing Co., his top choice is the SuperBier, and Arbor Oak Amber is his go to.
J.J. McDowell is first and foremost a writer. He has written screenplays, and he is in the midst of movie production. However, luckily, he gives Lake Effect Brewing Co. his time two days a week, getting the beer out to our local accounts in Chicagoland. He and his wife are expecting their first child this year. He enjoys good cold beer with friends.
Supporting Team members
Ken Leja: "I am a doer of things with stuff." I do my day job for the money and I work at the brewery for the love the love of beer. Lake Effect is an extremely new class of beers for him, he says. He loves the fruit sours, especially the Lake Huron Blueberry Berlinerweisse and the Brett Frambois. He has been a home brewer in the past and still enjoys the process when possible. He loves cooking for large groups, being in the world class City of Chicago, and sculptural art. He also enjoys tinkering and fixing things at the brewery.
Samantha Soto started working with Lake Effect summer 2017. She represents Lake Effect Brewing Co. at tastings and festivals around Chicagoland. Her favorite Lake Effect beers are the Brett Frambois and the Bitchin’ Blonde. When she isn't working at Lake Effect, she is teaching music to elementary students. In her free time, Samantha spends time checking out new breweries with her husband.
Mitch Miller started volunteering about 2 years ago labeling bottles. In 2016, he was hired as a Brand Ambassador to do sampling and festivals. His all time favorite beers are Marzin/Oktoberfest beers. His favorite at Lake Effect are the core beers: the Falcon Dive and Bitchin' Blonde. "Just the smell of these beers reminds me of walking in the first time." Mitch says he does not have much free time but it is devoted to family, beer, and golf.