Jake Duensing has been professionally brewing for eight years, but his first experience with the beverage dates back a little further. When he was 12 years old, he received a home brew kit from his sister and his love for the experience grew from there.
After graduating college, Jake and his wife, Jen, moved around the U.S. Along the way, he began homebrewing and eventually decided to make brewing a career after continued encouragement from Jen. He gained experience at various breweries. “I started as low as you can be, pulling ice cold beers out of a water bath in Boulder [Colorado] in November, sopping wet and just loving every moment of it,” Jake says. He started as a packaging tech at Upslope Brewing Company, then worked his way up through roles including cellarman, shift brewer and, eventually, lead brewer.
He was also a head brewer at Odd13 Brewing in Colorado, and a brewer at Snoqualmie Falls Brewery and Taproom in Washington. Now, Jake and Jen are ready to tackle a brewery of their own in Springfield—Jake’s home town. They’re currently putting the final touches on Great Escape Beer Works, which has been built from the ground up in the Quarry Town development in the Galloway neighborhood. The brewery opens December 15.
“We love this area. It's close to the trail and that really brings in what we’re about and what we hope to bring into the brewing industry, that sense of community,” Jen says.