Mike started brewing Kombucha in his garage back in 2012 because some hippy surfer in Santa Cruz told him it could make him shred harder. Surfing super powers aside, Mikes primary Kombucha interest became sourcing organic and sustainable ingredients to create Whalebird’s core flavor line up. After many late nights of brewing followed by climbing sessions at the local bouldering gym, Mike stumbled upon the bold yet balanced base Kombucha that Whalebird still uses today for all of its flavors. Out in the wild you can find Mike playing a game of “What Are The Odds“ with Max Shulman or crushing down some single track on his mountain bike. Literally no person on the face of the earth can beat him in a game of Worms 2.
Jake joined what became Whalebird back in 2013 when Kombucha kegs were still being delivered on oversized commuter bikes and invoices were handwritten notes. The two loves of Jakes life are the History Channel and Microsoft Excel. Need to know who won the French Revolution of 1789 or the best way to build your financial forecast? Whatever the problem, if Jake can’t get you the answer you want, undoubtedly he’s sure to convince you of his. Outside of the brewery you can find Jake downtown swing dancing, spear fishing a secret spot, or playing along to some early 2000’s Eminem with his acoustic guitar. Literally no person on the face of the earth can beat him in a game of Worms 2.
Lee joined Whalebird in 2015 as the teams Macgyver, and all around mad scientist engineer. He enabled the team to drastically improve production and ferment more with less by designing and building the systems in place today. Beyond his functional design, Lee possesses a skill set that many engineers lack and that is the ascetic eye, which is why the Whalebird brewery also doubles as a constant art installment. Although humble, Lee can shred just about any board sport with the best of them. Find him at the beach, in a drum circle, or in the water catching some waves on any of the amazing beaches here on the central coast.
With 10 years experience in craft beer, Dustin joined up with Whalebird in the fall of 2016 just as things were really starting to pick up speed. He brought with him a knowledge and foundation for scaling production and distribution that has proven to be invaluable. Not only can Dustin run a production team like no other, he has an uncontrollable vigor to plan years down the road in all aspects of business. This foresight has helped Whalebird identify and solve future problems and has made the team overly excited at the possibility of sharing more Kombucha with more people. The only time he doesn’t talk too much is when the waves are good and then it’ll take a force of nature to keep him out of the water. He’s also got the cutest puppy on team.
Talia stormed on the scene in 2017 as Whalebird Kombucha’s much needed brew scientist and QA expert. With a masters of science in molecular biology, Talia has been able to take Whalebird’s fermentation science to the next level. When she’s not getting down with some SCOBY’s, she makes awesome custom jewelry using wire wrapping, metalsmithing, and lost wax casting techniques.
Orion is Whalebird Kombucha’s invaluable production lead, packaging lead, and inventory control guru. We’ve tried and tried but we haven’t found one thing he’s bad at, and that includes shredding the best local trails on his mountain bike. Rumor has it he was raised by a herd of Rhinos somewhere on the Serengeti and can hear Kombucha fermenting from 100 yards away.
As Whalebird Kombucha’s lead brewer and production engineer, we’ve never met someone who works as hard or as diligently as Brett and Whalebird would not be where it is today without him. He can run the brewery with his eyes closed and hands behind his back. There is not a human being on earth who listens to Johnny cash more than Brett and legend has it when the moon is just right, you can hear his deep baritone singing Ring of Fire from the top of Bishops Peak in SLO.
A connoisseur of craft beer, punk rock, and motorcycles – Luke might be too cool for Whalebird but he’s been nice enough to stick around the production floor to teach us his ways. With a background in home brewing, Luke has taken to kombucha like a probiotic in sweet tea. Show him something once and rest assured that thats the last time. Legend has it that he can single handedly lift 500 lbs of SCOBY with his left hand all the while stirring a fresh brew with his right.
Born on a craggy mountain top in the heart of the Andes, Mati emerged from the womb with a guitar in his hand and a Metallica shirt on his back. Beyond his musical prowess he’s just an all around passionate human being that enhances the culture of whatever group he’s in. On most days you can find him with Builder Man working to expand and maintain the various systems that keep our brewery alive.
Retail/Events manager extraordinaire; if there’s a party nearby, Nate went to high school with the Dj, goes surfing now and then with the bouncer, and once met the promoter on a gondola in Tahoe. On top of directing the tasting room and all of Whalebird’s outside events, Nate is the creative director of the local music festival ‘Shabang’ and co-owner of the art collective ‘Respect the Funk’. His infectious positivity is like pounding a pint of Pamplemousse first thing in the morning. Let’s go!!