Alex Ganum is the owner and head brewer at Upright. He grew up drinking his father’s German pilseners and his older brother’s Bells Porter before moving to Portland in 2002. After meeting several homebrewers he decided to give it a go and never looked back. Seven years later his love of brewing led him to open Upright, a brewery he thinks is as much a part of the community as it is personal. Being co-owner of the Grain and Gristle in NE Portland, don't be surprised to catch him there at the bar working on new recipes or just chatting with friends. When he doesn’t have beer on his mind Alex is probably thinking about what’s next in the kitchen or on his plate and what digestif to wash it down with.
Gerritt Ill has been brewing for five years. He 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 a full time employee. 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, Germany 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. 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 on Saturdays 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. 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. Besides his obvious love for the industry, Neil enjoys throwing frisbees at the park and taking his pooch on long walks all over Portland.
Angelo De Ieso II is the co-founder of Brewpublic, a website dedicated to regional craft beer news, info and events. He met Alex and Gerritt while working at the Belmont Station and has been further inspired ever since. Today he has risen to the esteem of sanitation technician and 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, 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, Lactovasilios, 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. Designing beer labels for such breweries as Roots Organic Brewing and Upright. He also works with indie bands booking and producing shows and festivals like Hopworks Biketobeerfest, The Manor of Art and the Brewers Summer Games. In addition, he assisted in the creation of Taplister and produced their videos with “snob” Ritch. 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.