Aaron Brodniak, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, transitioned to the brewing industry and has more than 18 years of craft brewing experience, a passion that began in Mukilteo back in the 1990s. He has worked in breweries ranging in size from 500 — 75,000 barrels and has held the titles of head brewer for a microbrewery and regional brewer for a chain of brewpubs.
Brodniak’s main focus will be implementing a quality assurance program and production plan while assisting in the expansion at the company’s production facility.
“With the planned expansion of our brewery taking shape, it was time we hired another industry professional to assist with both the expansion and the overall quality of our most important product,” said Bob Maphet, Diamond Knot president and CEO. “Aaron comes to us with a vast amount of experience in the industry. We see him adding to the strong brewery team we already have under the leadership of Pat Ringe.”
Not only does Brodniak have strong ties to the brewing industry, he grew up playing on the beaches along the shores of Diamond Knot’s home base: Mukilteo. His great grandfather settled in Mukilteo in the early 1900s, and his grandmother worked at Taylor’s Landing, now Ivar’s at the Mukilteo ferry dock just across from Diamond Knot’s flagship Brewery & Alehouse.
Maphet jokingly takes credit for anchoring Brodniak’s passion in the industry. Maphet, and the late Diamond Knot co-founder Brian Sollenberger met Brodniak back in 1994 when they first began brewing at the original brewery on Front Street in Mukilteo. Brodniak volunteered at the brewery prior to joining Pyramid Brewing. He would later return to share techniques he had learned at the larger regional brewery over a pint or two. It’s rumored he’d have peanut-tossing battles with Sollenberger during those early days at Cheers Too, although no stories have been confirmed.
Before joining the team at Diamond Knot, Aaron worked as a consultant for craft breweries to develop business plans, brewery operations, product development, human resource development plans, and standard operating procedures. He is also an instructor on business plans for Oregon State University’s Professional and Continuing Education program (Craft Brewery Startup Workshop’s I and II). He attended the Siebel Short Course on Brewing, earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from Portland State University and a Masters in Management from American Public University.
Diamond Knot Craft Brewing celebrates its 20th anniversary in October. Founded on the Mukilteo waterfront in 1994, Diamond Knot now enjoys operating two successful brewpubs, the flagship Brewery & Alehouse in Mukilteo and the new Brewpub @ MLT in Mountlake Terrace, as well as its Production Brewery & Taproom up the hill from the Alehouse. For information, visit diamondknot.com.