Charting Our Own Course!
You might say the concept of Pilothouse started back when our founder, Jean Verrier, was in college in the Adirondack region of New York State and worked in the kitchen of a fine dining restaurant on the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain. The Executive Chef of that restaurant, a Culinary Institute of America alumnus, helped develop Jean’s passion for gourmet cooking. From there he also developed a love of beer and he began homebrewing over 20 years ago in a small apartment in Burlington, Vermont that he shared with his college sweetheart and wife, Michele. Like cooking up gourmet dishes, Jean loves craft beer and has a deep understanding of recipe formulation and the fermentation processes involved in making it. After homebrewing for many years and moving to Colorado, Jean got the idea for Pilothouse when he noticed that many of the pro brewers in the craft brewing industry started out as homebrewers themselves. As such, he came up with an idea for a brewery that would be built around the homebrewing community, with revolving competitions, where the ultimate judges would be the general public. The name Pilothouse is based on the premise of giving amateur brewers a venue to ‘pilot’ their own recipes before the public in a competitive format on professional brewing equipment, while also offering a stable lineup of ‘house’ crafted beers that are true to style.
A Little More About the Team
Jean and Michele are both CPA’s with many years of business experience and Michele has a degree and a background in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Together with Michele’s brother, Erik Wake, who owns a small business of his own in Western New York, they are setting off on this adventure. In addition, Pilothouse is supported by Jean’s parents, Robert & Odette Verrier, Erik’s wife, Heather Carson-Wake, and Michele’s parents, Walter & Bonnie Wake, making it a true ‘family affair’. Jean and Michele are originally from the Northeast and are avid sailors. Together, they own a coastal cruising sailboat and they also have a daysailer here in Colorado on Aurora Reservoir, only a few minutes from the brewery.
(Erik left, Michele center, and Jean right)