Prior to his time at Wicked Weed, Claeys completed a combined Master Brewing program at Chicago’s Siebel Institute and Munich’s Doemens Academy after having started his brewing career as a Brewer/Cellarman at Grayton Beer Company in Florida. As one of the founding staff members at Grayton, Claeys helped with planning, opening and overall operations of the brewery, exploring and tracking fermentations, managing tank CIPs, dry hopping, yeast pitching/harvesting, transfers, fining, beer carbonation and more.
“My goal is to become one of the best brewers in the world – one that inspires, educates and delivers. I’m excited to join the Protagonist team to continue to learn, grow and brew new and interesting beers for the Charlotte community,” said Claeys.
“We look forward to working with Westgard and Claeys to provide new and fresh beer offerings to the Charlotte craft-loving community,” said Ryan Owens, partner at Protagonist. “I cannot wait to taste the first few beers from this team.”
The brewery will open its doors in Charlotte early this spring and focus on contributing to the craft beer scene by offering a wide variety of rare and interesting brews, playing with carbonation and serving temperatures and an engaging membership program.
About Protagonist Beer
Protagonist is a brewery centered around experimentation, belonging and public spirit. Created by childhood friends Ryan McKillen, Ryan Owens and Mike Salzarulo, the brand will come to life through a modern day Clubhouse—a nano-brewery and taproom in Charlotte, North Carolina in early 2019. Curious? So are we. Website: protagonistbeer.com. Follow Protagonist on Instagram @protagonistbeer for updates.