Marty Velas is the owner and head brewer at Fanatic Brewing Company. Marty began brewing in 1978 after a trip to Czechoslovakia exposed him to world-class beer. In 1986, working as an aerospace engineer in his native California, he traded for a career in professional brewing when he signed on with the first microbrewery in Southern California, Alpine Brewing Co. In 1989, he was sent by Alpine to Southern Bavaria to complete a journeyman-ship at the Hofbräuhaus Traunstein. Combining his engineering background with his brewing experience, Marty began consulting in 1991 with several equipment manufacturers to design breweries and implement improvements in the factory while training and fine-tuning in the field. He has trained over 200 successful brewers in the industry and has held brewmaster positions at Manhattan Beach Brewing Co., Redondo Beach Brewing Co. Huntington Beach Beer Co. Brewski’s in Hermosa Beach, Fredricksburg Brewing Co. in Texas, Turul Brewing Co. in Szalapa, Hungary and Echigo Landsbrauerei in Niigata, Japan and as the head of brewing operations at Smoky Mountain Brewery. As a sought after industry consultant and educator he has traveled the world to share his expertise in recipe formulation, product development, training, brewery design and installation. Marty was instrumental in establishing the first craft brewery in Japan in 1994 introducing such brewing styles as: Bock, Stout, Pale Ale, Red Ale and Bavarian Style Weizen Beer. Marty’s beers have been awarded numerous prestigious awards including Gold medals from the Great American Beer Fest and The World Beer Cup. Marty is also an internationally recognized beer judge and an instructor at South College teaching a Professional Brewer’s Science program.
Nate Austin Head of Sales
Nate is Marty's right hand man. He is the guy to call if you want our beer in your store or bar. The former owner of Rock Soup Records, he released many albums for bands like Lipliplip Hands, 80 Minutes of Gallop, The Reigns Band, Color of Danger and many others that received great praise from WDVX, The Metro Pulse and The News Sentinel. Nate left Knoxville to pursue his music producing career in California. While visiting breweries on the West Coast, he discovered his passion for craft beer. Coming back to Knoxville at the right time, he found his dream job at Fanatic Brewing Company.
Julie Fairbrother Sales & V.P. of Hoppy Goodness
Julie Fairbrother has lived in Knoxville for the past 13 years. Originally from Wisconsin, she has lived in eight different states. She began her career working for Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, Georgia, and later relocated to Texas to work on a project for the Navy, based on Gulfstream’s G4. Eventually, she moved to Oklahoma City where she began working in the bar and restaurant industry. Over the course of 12 years, she worked in variety of roles and gained valuable experience in front of the house operations. While living in Southern California in 1992, she was first introduced to the world of microbrew beer. Just about every week, she and her best friend would go to the Manhattan Beach Brewing Company to share a pizza and drink the best beer she had ever tasted. Years later, she met Marty Velas in Knoxville at a party thrown by a mutual friend. The conversation soon turned to beer and she recounted her love for Manhattan Beach Blonde. She was pretty surprised when Marty exclaimed with a big smile, “I brewed that beer!” Naturally, when the opportunity came for her to join the Fanatic Brewing Company Team, she jumped at the chance.
Dan Keating Assistant Brewer
Dan was born and raised in Pennsylvania and joined the Marine Corps immediately after graduating high school in 2004. He spent 8 years as a marine infantryman and doing 5 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan during that time. Getting out of the military in 2013 at the rank of Sargent he did military contracting for a few years. He started home brewing mead and wine in 2010 and got his first beer kit that Christmas. Dan’s first time in Knoxville was in April and May of 2015 for an unexploded ordnance school and fell in love with the area. He moved to Knoxville in March of 2016 to attend South College’s Professional Brewing Science Program where Marty was one of his teachers. 2 weeks before graduation Marty offered him a position at Fanatic and in September 2016 Dan became the assistant brewer at Fanatic.
Jason "Ratchet" Carpenter Marketing director / Future Taproom Manager
"Ratchet" as he is known, is a staple of the Knoxville beer scene. A reformed homebrewer, he has worked in the brewing industry in multiple positions. He came back to Knoxville after brief stint as the assistant brewer at Nantahala Brewing Company in North Carolina. As our marketing guy, he's the one posting to our social media platforms, responding to emails, running contest and coming up with other fun ways of promoting Fanatic Brewing Company. He has a true passion for craft beer, and Knoxville's beer culture. In what little spare time he carves out for himself, he enjoys hiking, paddle boarding and visiting breweries. If you're having trouble hearing back from Marty or Nate (hey, they are really busy & stuff falls through the cracks), make sure to drop him a line. His email is Ratchet@ Fanaticbrewing.com