[Updated] Drake’s Lead Brewer Alexandra Nowell Departs for Kinetic Brewing Co.


Here’s an article that we ran last week regarding personnel changes at both Drake’s Brewing and Kinetic Brewing. We mistakenly referred to Alexandra Nowell as Head Brewer of Drakes rather than their lead brewer.

After the departure of long-time Head Brewer Brian Thorson in 2012 followed by the recent move south by former Head Brewer Jesse Houck, Drake’s is seeing yet another change in their lineup. Current Lead Brewer Alexandra Nowell has accepted the Head Brewer position at Kinetic Brewing Co. in Lancaster, CA.

The news was announced on the Drake’s Brewing blog earlier this week with news of Nowell’s last Drake’s brew– an imperial stout brewed with none other than Oakland’s pride, Blue Bottle Coffee. Aptly named Alex’s Last Stand, this stout was the last beer she brewed for Drake’s before heading down to southern California. With Thorson over at Haven Gastropub & Brewery in Pasadena and Houck at Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village, one can’t help but feel that the Los Angeles-area beer community has truly inherited some serious brewing talent.

We caught up briefly with Nowell online today to ask her a couple of questions about this move. What will she miss about the Bay? What’s she personally looking forward to in LA?

Alexandra Nowell:

Three things I will miss about the Bay:

1. The beer community. I have made a lot of good friends and strong connections in my time in the Bay Area. They will be missed.
2. Trips to Hog Island Oyster Co. One of my favorite day trips is to drive to Marshall for sunshine, good company, and the freshest oysters you can get. A stop at Cowgirl Creamery on the way for cheese and bread is usually customary.
3. BART. Because brewers love public transit.

Three things to look forward to in LA:

1. Starting my new job. I’m stoked to bring my brewing experience down South. Kinetic is a fairly young brewery, and I’m excited to grow with them.
2. Meeting the LA beer community! I know some great people in LA already, and I’m excited to meet more.
3. Getting outdoors in new places. I’ve done a lot of exploring in the Bay Area and NorCal, but so little in SoCal. I love to hike, getting my scuba certification soon, and I want to learn how to surf.

We wish Alex the best of luck in her new role– and hey, maybe you’ll even spot her catching some waves in Malibu some time?

For more information on Drake’s Brewing and Kinetic Brewing Co., check them out at www.drinkdrakes.com and www.kineticbrewing.com

*Point of clarification: An earlier version of this post has been changed to reflect that Nowell’s position at Drake’s Brewing was that of Lead Brewer. 


  1. Keith Mattrick says

    “brewed with none other than San Francisco’s pride, Blue Bottle Coffee”

    Blue Bottle was founded in and is headquartered in Oakland.

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