The Gathering Place Team
Joe Yeado, Founder and President of Gathering Place Brewing Company
Joe has always been interested in brewing, and actually started making his own root beer in high school. Let’s just say he’s better at making real beer…
Joe’s beer epiphany came while studying in Germany for a year in college. The traditional full-bodied, flavorful ales and lagers were like nothing he’d ever tasted. Just as important was seeing how beer was an integral part of the culture, a way to socialize with neighbors and bring the community together. He loved spending time in beer gardens, surrounded by groups of families and friends and dreamed of bringing this camaraderie (Germans call it Gemütlichkeit) back to the States.
Joe started homebrewing in 2007 with a 5-gallon steel pot on his kitchen stove. He read every brewing book he could find and started developing his own recipes. He began entering competitions and getting good feedback. While living in DC, Joe won 3rd place out of nearly 90 entrants at the 2013 Sam Adams Homebrew Competition for a Belgian-style triple fermented with sour cherries. At this point he thought that maybe this hobby could be something more.
Joe continued honing his craft, entering competitions, and winning awards. In 2014, he once again took 3rd place at Sam Adams Homebrew Competition for a saison fermented with wild Belgian yeast. In 2016 alone, Joe won 22 homebrewing awards from competitions throughout the Midwest, including three First-Place ribbons at the Wisconsin State Fair.
Beyond homebrewing, Joe has brewed on industrial-grade equipment at DryHop Brewers in Chicago and is a former employee of Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in Milwaukee, WI. These experiences have provided valuable insight into the production and sales of craft beer as well as how to engage new customers with craft beer.