Alex Ganum is the owner and head brewer at Upright. He grew up in the beer-centric state of Michigan drinking German pilseners and Bells Porter before moving to Portland in 2002, where he decided to give brewing a go and never looked back. Seven years later he opened Upright and later co-founded the Grain and Gristle and Old Salt Marketplace. Don't be surprised to catch him at both bars working on new recipes. When he doesn’t have beer on his mind Alex is probably thinking about what’s next on his plate and what digestif to wash it down with.
Gerritt Ill fell in love with beer drinking a Sierra Nevada Pale ale at a friend’s house in his home state of New Jersey. After moving to Oregon to be closer to the craft brewing culture of the northwest, he began brewing at home. Gerritt’s been with Upright since the beginning, first as an intern and now as senior brewer. He enjoys Upright’s pale, low alcohol beers as well as anything from the Schlenkerla Brewery in Germany. Upright sets its watch to Gerritt’s flawless internal clock, though we generally ignore his belief that Ween should be the only music allowed in the brewery.
Bobby Birk was introduced to brewing beer by his Dad in the garage back in Idaho at the impressionable age of 8. He studied brewing at the Siebel Institute in Chicago and Doemans Academy in Munich in 2010. He then spent a few months riding his bike across Europe, drinking beer and enjoying the French, German and Italian countrysides. He returned to Portland in 2011 and started as an intern at Upright in October of the same year. Bobby was asked to join the team as a brewer in April of 2012 and typically works the tasting room Sundays. In his free time he can be found riding his bike, camping, bowling or watching the Blazers all while sharing great (and terrible) beers with his family and friends.
Brent Small loves beer. He also loves mustard. When he first tasted Upright beer, he realized the two would go really well together. The result was Schmahl’s, his company that makes German-style, beer inspired mustard’s. He also holds down the tasting room Thursday through Saturday and has the high ranking position of Chief Bottle Labeler. When he’s not making mustard or drinking beer, you’ll likely find him hiking a high mountain trail, working in his garden, concocting in the kitchen, or creating in his studio.
Neil Yandow has been helping out at Upright since it opened, particularly with the brewery's annual rauchbier when he acts as chief smoker. Alex and Gerritt both worked with him beforehand at the Belmont Station, where the three of them formed a friendship around craft beer and music. Neil now acts as general manager at the Station and often comes in on days off to lend a hand with whatever is going on in the brewery, a place he says reminds him of a little house he used to live in.
Angelo De Ieso II is the co-founder of Brewpublic, a website dedicated to regional craft beer news, info and events. His role at the brewery is part time beer dubber. So far he is on the hook for naming Upright beers such as Four Play, Fresh Hop of Bel-Air, Anglo Saison, Engelberg Pils, Blend Love, Alphaphylactic Hop, Lactovasilios, and Ben Gosler. He is still trying to convince Alex to develop a fresh hopped lager called Engelberg Hopperdink, and dreams of other brews such as the Objectification of Women Blonde Ale, Spollenator Honey Doppelbock, and the Boliva Tootin’ John. A highlight of his life is helping brew a Rooibos infused beer with Breakside Brewmaster Ben Edmunds called "Alex Legume", a tribute to Upright's founder.
Ezra Johnson-Greenough aka Samurai Artist is a lifelong supporter and producer of his 3 favorite arts; illustration, beer and music. Between designing beer labels and managing social media and events for several breweries, he keeps his hands in the industry all over Portland and beyond. In his free time he brews his own beers, writes The New School beer blog and geeks out on films.
Steve Cheseborough re-creates the blues and hokum of the 1920s-30s, interspersing the songs with stories, history and humor. He sounds like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Bo Carter playing, with Alan Lomax moderating and Groucho Marx adding comments. The author of Blues Traveling: the Holy Sites of Delta Blues and one of the stars of Last of the Mississippi Jukes, Cheseborough has the uncanny ability to turn any setting into a 1925 Mississippi jook joint.You can catch him most Sundays at the brewery tasting room.