Smack Pack

Tom Stevens

Tom Stevens

Co-Founder/Operations Manager

Tom was born. Tom is currently still living.

Okay, the above content was provided by Tom. But elaboration must ensue.

Tom got his first taste of the craft brewing industry in the late 80’s working at Big Time Brewery and Alehouse. During his time there, Big Time served as a craft beer incubator, producing some of region’s finest brewers and most delicious potations. Strong bonds to the industry, and even stronger friendships were forged as a result, and both are the reason for Tom’s commitment to Jellyfish Brewing today.

Tom developed his chops for business when he opened his own real estate appraisal company in 2004. He enjoyed working as an appraiser because each entity offered its own set of unique characteristics. In that regard, determining a fair and equitable value for each appraisal was akin to solving a puzzle. His ability to see the pieces, and find a way to cohesively put them together was integral to developing a plan for building out a brewery.

On a personal note, Tom is a Minnesotan to the core. Although he has been living in Seattle for more years than not, you’ll still hear him bark at the moon with the rest of his timber wolf pack from time to time.

Tom is married to Beth, and reside in North Seattle with their dog ‘Sotalicious.

Mark Burr

Mark Burr

Co-Founder/General Manager

 It was an auspicious start to Mark’s 25-year career in the craft brewing industry. On a warm summer day in July of 1990 he walked into Big Time Brewery and Alehouse to drop off a resume. After a quick introduction to the nice woman behind the bar, he left and returned to his apartment, which was only a block away. It wasn’t more than 2 minutes after arriving home that he noticed his fly was down.

Amazingly, even though the barn door was wide open when he made his first impression, he received a call for an interview. Fifteen minutes later he was hired to work in the kitchen. From lead ‘Deli Boy’, Mark would go on to become the assistant door man. Slowly his role changed to part time ‘Deli Boy’, assistant door man, and back-up bar back. Through attrition, he became a mainstay behind the bar and a fill-in assistant brewer.

Thirteen years later, Mark left Big Time to open Water Street Brewing and Alehouse in Port Townsend, which he owned and operated for 7 years. It was there that he co-founded, Strange Brewfest, which elevated an already robust festival calendar in Port Townsend.

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in 2011, Mark took a break from the brewery circuit and worked for three restaurant groups, all of which provided an opportunity to garner a greater appreciation for all things related to the operation of a brewery with pub.

On any given day, and when he isn’t posting pictures of his cats, Hank and Penelope, Mark will be spending time with his lovely wife Kathryn, roaming around the junction in West Seattle.

Justin Rizza

Justin Rizza

Head Brewer

Justin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Jellyfish brewhouse. His devotion to craft brewing has seen him produce beer in a number of regions across this country, and even overseas. Along the way, he has designed and crafted a number of award winning ales.

Justin began his career at Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver in 2000. In 2001, he moved to Seattle and began working for Hale’s Ales. At Hale’s he contributed to the production of medal winning beers as judged at the North American Beer Awards. He also won a Grand National Champion prize at the United States Beer Tasting Competition.

After Hale’s, he had the opportunity to brew for Birra Amiata in Tuscany, Italy. When his love affair for Italy finally ran its course, Justin and his wife Carrie moved back to the states, and found themselves in Austin, Texas. There, Justin worked as Head Brewer for Independence Brewing Company, and for the past 5 years as Head Brewer for Flix Brewhouse, where he also managed the buildout of 2 additional breweries for the company.

Although we hope to keep his attention focused squarely on brewery operations, his skills reach beyond the brewery and into the kitchen. His overall knowledge of developing flavors is certainly a huge plus.

We are very lucky to have Justin, Carrie and their children Chiara  and Garth  move back to the PNW and join the Jellyfish family.

Suzie Cruz

Suzie Cruz

Outside Sales

Suzie Rocks! But everyone calls her Suzie Cruz! Sure, you can call her Suzie if you want, but then we would all know that you’re just approaching her fan club. Greeting her with a ‘Suzie Cruz’ means you’ve arrived.

Nomadic by nature, Suzie Cruz has called many a township home. She was born in the Bay Area, and has lived as far north as Talkeetna, Alaska, where she was a pizza slinger and pool hustler. While she resided in Port Townsend, she worked at Water Street Brewing, where she developed a devoted group of patrons. She parlayed this base into being voted Kinetic Kween, joining the royal heirarchy of the  famed Kinetic Sculpture Race.

In Portland, Suzie ran a different kind of race. She completed her first marathon. Of note, Sean Astin, famous for his portrayol of Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings, only beat Suzie’s time of 5:55:00 by 10 minutes. We all know how fast hobbits can run, so that was quite impressive!

Suzie Cruz is a champion of the festival circuit. She has spent time pouring and participating at a number of Washington events, including the Washington Brewer’s Festival and Strange Brewfest.

She comes to us from Portland, where she built a robust clientele as an esthetician. With a slew of sales savvy, she is a great addition to the Smack Pack at Jellyfish Brewing!

When Suzie Cruz isn’t out hustling beer, you’d likely find her on a white sand beach in Mexico. Viva La Cruz! 

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