PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER
After graduating from UCLA Film School with a BA in Motion Picture and Television Production and a year working as a video editor, Nylen decided that he would pursue a career as a lawyer instead of a filmmaker. Greg then attended USC Law School and spent the next twenty-four years practicing law in Santa Monica and West Los Angeles as an entertainment, intellectual property and class action defense litigator, with most of that time as a shareholder at the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP. However, he also spent that same twenty-four years homebrewing beer and developing a deep passion for the craft. In the early 2000s, he realized that he wanted to pursue his dream of opening a production brewery and, with the enthusiastic support of his wife, Vice President and Co-Founder Mary Ann Frericks, began to hone beer recipes on the homebrewing competition circuit (often brewing with Co-Founder Dave Chapman). Thus began the path leading to Barley Forge Brewing Co. Greg ultimately chose Costa Mesa for the location because he grew up in South Orange County and believes the City is perfectly located to supply the surrounding area with craft beer. Nylen still practices law part-time with the firm of Lobb & Cliff, LLP where he is a litigator, and he also provides advice to local breweries.
MARY ANN FRERICKS
VICE PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER
Since earning a B.A. in Art History (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and a Master of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing (California State University, Long Beach), Mary Ann Frericks has spent the last two and a half decades teaching and exhibiting as a professional artist. She is quick to define herself as a hyper-visual person with obsessive attention to detail. She and Barley Forge Brewing Co. President and Co-Founder Greg Nylen married in 2000 and together they have reveled in visiting hundreds of breweries across this great nation and beyond. Although she does not remember exactly when or where, someplace on the open road their conversations turned to a day when they would open a brewery of their own. Mary Ann was loathe to deem a title at the brewery as she views herself as the "mom" in a mom-and-pop business, and any given day may find her perusing the Long Beach Antique Market for that last elusive item for the tasting room, pressure washing the parking lot or concocting a name for Barley Forge's double IPA. But since "mom" would not fly on the business card, after much soul-searching, Mary Ann is proud to serve as Vice President and Co-Founder of Barley Forge Brewing Co.
DESIGN DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
Stolte spent thirteen years working with Greg Nylen (his junior-high school chum) and Greg's wife Mary Ann Frericks to develop the brand visuals for Barley Forge Brewing Co. Steeped in Post-War Americana, midnight movies, midcentury European breweriana, and plenty of "taste-testing," the look of Barley Forge celebrates creativity in the arts, honest hard work, craftsmanship, and the cultural landscape of Southern California. When not working with Barley Forge, Stolte heads the design studio Wexler of California, providing creative services to food and beverage clients worldwide. He is the author and illustrator of "Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics)," is a West Coast Committee Judge for Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, and is Vice President of the United States Bartenders Guild Southern California Chapter.
PACKAGING DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
Chapman has also known Greg since junior high school and started homebrewing in 1991 after going off to a flight school in Oklahoma (where he feared craft beers would be scarce - so he brewed his own). After attaining his commercial pilot and CFII ratings, he supplemented his flight instruction income by working in the hospitality industry, gaining fine dining, catering and hotel management skills. Because of his love to design and build (and due to the downturn in the aviation biz following the events of 9/11), he acquired a BS in Industrial Technology and Design and has run high-speed manufacturing lines, initiated quality control/continuous improvement programs, and designed several products that are currently in production. Dave has been homebrewing with Greg since 2008 and with Greg's vision and recipe development combined with their focus on processes and quality ingredients, they have won numerous awards. Dave's unique combination of experience will be an asset to the packaging line as well as helping out with Barley Forge events.
HEAD OF BREWING OPERATIONS
Growing up in the high desert community of Twentynine Palms, California, Buckley never considered going into brewing; he was going to be a jeweler. Actually, he was a jeweler for over seven years, which is how he wound up in Iowa City, Iowa with plans to work in the production facility of a national chain of jewelry stores.
Plans changed, however, and Buckley instead found himself working the beer room of John's Grocery (aka: "Dirty John's"), an epicurean food and beverage shop in Iowa City. It was there among the thousands of American and European craft beers that he first took an interest in brewing and fell in with a group of local homebrewers.
Buckley's adventure into homebrewing revealed a knack for the brewing process which he parlayed into a job at Millstream Brewery in nearby Amana, Iowa. After a year or so mastering the the ins and outs of brewery operations (keg washing anyone?) he landed the head brewer's job at Guvnor's Public House, a brewpub outside of Chicago. A year and a half later, opportunity knocked once again, and Buckley moved north to become a brewer and production manager for Grizzly Paw Brewery in the city of Canmore, Alberta, Canada.
The experience of running a full production brewery was great, but the Canadian Rocky winters left something to be desired for a kid from Southern California, and after a year or so Buckley began to think about returning home. It was during a fishing trip with his dad in San Diego that he interviewed with Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, CA about 20 miles east of San Diego and found himself in the assistant brewer's position there shortly afterwords.
Buckley's year at Alpine steeped him in San Diego's vibrant craft brewing scene (wholly different from the staid German dominated beers of the Midwest), inspiring him to seek out a new head brewing job where he could start experimenting with some new recipes he'd been working on. As fate would have it, Back Street Brewing in the city of Vista along San Diego County's famed Highway 78 (aka: "the Beer Highway" because of all the breweries located along it) was seeking a new brewmaster, and Buckley soon had the job.
As head brewer at Back Street Buckley re-invigorated the brewpub's aging house beer line-up, added guest taps from other local craft breweries, and brewed an eclectic series of new beers ranging from bold West Coast IPAs (a skill he learned at Alpine), to thick and flavorful coffee and bourbon barrel-aged stouts. He even threw in a few fruit beers and sours for good measure. Over his 16 month tenure he earned a reputation as one of San Diego's up-and-coming brewers, and transformed Back Street from a local brewpub into a destination point for craft beer enthusiasts from all over Southern California.
Buckley next founded Latitude 33 in Vista, California, where he built the brewery from the ground up, exercising his brewing talents and long-time penchant for adventure and "randomly taking big risks." Given his background, it's safe to say we can expect big things.
SODA RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Gram is Mary Ann and Greg's son (b. 2004) who may often be seen hanging out and helping out at the brewery. He has patiently tolerated several years of weekends spent cleaning and organizing instead of playing, learning a ton in the process. His goal is to help develop the best artisanal sodas Orange County can offer, including his own creation: mango soda!
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