In the rapidly changing brewing industry, it’s not uncommon to go through growing pains. Between supply chain issues, inflation and a lot of competition, Brewlab was in the hiring process for a head brewer only a year and a half after opening. 

“The brewery was in the final stages of choosing a new head brewer when Rob Tesmer’s resume came in,” said Tarah Gee, general manager of Brewlab. I initially overlooked it seeing all of his experience was in Chicago and assuming he was still living in Chicago. But luckily, he reached out again and clarified that he in fact was a recent transplant to Charleston.”

“Hard-working” and “dedicated” are just a couple of words used to describe Tesmer. He’s dedicated to his craft and knew in college that this was the career path he wanted to take. 

“I was finishing up my junior year of college at Eastern Illinois University and for my 21st birthday, my parents signed me up for a home brew class. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to make beer for a living. I finished up college and spent the next few years trying to get as much experience as I could so I could get my foot in the door,” he said. 

Before moving to Charleston, Tesmer spent time at Church Street Brewing and RAM Brewery. He also was a craft beer consultant for Benny’s Beverage Depot. After Tesmer’s parents relocated to Summerville, the young brewer found himself itching for a change and followed them here three years later. And that’s when Brewlab scooped him up. “Joe Evans (Brewlab’s owner) and I were impressed with his knowledge, work experience and his overall vibe,” she said. 

When asked what he’s anticipating this year at Brewlab, Tesmer said, “I’m looking forward to brewing more Belgian-style beers. I don’t know how many Brewlab has brewed in the past, so I hope it could be something new for our customers.” 

It’s clear Tesmer will bring a lot to the Charleston beer community. He’s already created some great brews for Brewlab and even cleaned up some of the original basics that the brewery has to offer. 

“For me, it’s the slow shift of breweries and customers enjoying more subtle traditional beer styles,” he said. “The number of crazy flavors we can put in beer is a lot of fun, and it’s great to see how excited customers get them, but I think for a lot of brewers. it’s nice to see traditional styles get some love, too.”

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