Brent Ryan is one of the founders of the Brewery. At Colby College Brent met his business partners, never looked at any of his grades, and spent substantial amounts of time figuring out ways around the school’s alcohol policies for the “greater social good”. Miraculously, he graduated with degrees in biochemistry and mathematical economics. After drawing the short straw upon start up, he was made President. Seven years later he convinced everyone they should let him make something and he is now the master distiller of Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum. Brent has never bought a pair of shoes for himself and is into vintage clothing by virtue of his plans to wear his clothes until they are vintage. He is tolerant even of intolerance, but he is offended by people who get offended which causes him to sometimes be offended of himself. He is married to a Navy Scientist and they live in downtown Newport with their two children. When he isn’t at the shop or with his family he is usually finding some unique activity to mix with some Newport Storm or Thomas Tew.
Derek Luke is one of the Founders of the Brewery. Never one to sit still, Derek found time at Colby College not only to drink beer, but also to make it. Unlike co-founder, Brent, he looked at his grades and they were good, so good that he convinced his professors to let him make beer in the Biology lab. Upon graduation he took his biochemistry degree to the brew house floor as Brewmaster for Newport Storm. Since then he has earned the title of resident plumber, electrician, mechanical engineer, welder, and refrigeration tech. He enjoys outdoor sports that involve varying amounts of danger - freestyle skiing, surfing, kiteboarding, etc. In addition, Derek has accumulated a variety of unique talents like unicycling and being able to tie a piece of human hair around the neck of a house fly to use as a leash. Derek is genuinely disappointed when people do bad things. Although many think he actually resides at the shop, Derek actually lives in Newport with his wife, Annie, and their dog, Tazman. Somehow, Derek drinks more beer now than he did in college.
Pete came to be a crew member by freeloading hundreds of gallons of Friday’s @ 6 beer over a three year period at the old brewery on Oliphant lane. Often referring to himself as the "Token Townie" Pete was born and raised in Newport. In 2005, after 14 years in Arizona he returned to his native Aquidneck Island to start the current chapter in his life. Building on ten years of commercial plumbing and dock building experience, Pete badgered his way into a part time job mowing the lawn at the brewery in trade for beer and rum. In May of 2010 he walked into Brent’s office after almost being crushed by a 18 ton pile driving hammer and said "I quit my job, can I work on your bottling line"? Brent hit him in the chest with two staff shirts out of a box by his desk saying "Be here tomorrow at 8am, closed toed shoes, pack a lunch, ready to work." Two months later he added pouring samples in the visitor center to mowing the lawn and working the bottling line. Upon finding out he would be a parent, he put his name in the hat for a position on the production side, and was hired in November of 2011 as a distiller/brewer. Since then he has become a skilled brewer and distiller while continuing to mow the lawn. He enjoys all forms of art but focuses mainly on film and music, implementing the "Loud Ass Rock and Soul" method of brewing and distilling on his night shifts. Pete has always dominated facial hair growing contests at the brewery and distillery and has a tattoo of a road runner (the real kind, not the cartoon) on his lower back. He claims he got it before the term “tramp stamp” was coined. The crew here is skeptical. He lives in Middletown with his wife of seven years and their three year old daughter, Raven.
Jeff is the guy behind Newport Storm's promotion at liquor stores. He comes to us from just ovah da bridge in Coventry, RI. But you can find him doing tastings around local Rhode Island liquor stores. Jeff and John, we found out later went to High School together. We heard they were once in a band together, but we don't know the name to prove that. When Jeff isn't on the road going to tastings he can be found playing the drums, watching sports, and playing some golf.
John is the guy behind Storm’s promotions at restaurants and bars across Rhode Island. From Coventry, RI, John credits his high school buddy and long-time friend Matt for his interest in craft beer. A few tours, tastings, and brewing documentarieslater, he found himself at our Visitors Center tasting counter and was instantly inspired. In recent years, John (much like Zach) is a songwriter and guitarist and has been a part of the RI local music scene and furthered his craft beer tasting while doing that as well. In present days, you’ll find him at local bars and restaurants cheering loudly for his beloved Boston Bruins and more importantly running promotions and educating locals and tourists on all of our craft brews.
A longtime friend and enthusiastic supporter of the Newport Storm Brewery, Linn has been in the brewery orbit since before its original “storm surge” in '99. Her first glamorous introduction to the brewery was assisting with a start-up bottling run when case boxes were hot-glued together while sitting in beach chairs. A native of Rhode Island, Linn went to college in Portland, Maine where she lived for 25 years after receiving a degree in dental hygiene. After realizing she preferred crunching numbers to cleaning choppers she’s worked in a number of small business environments including retail, law, community organizing and hospitality. Recent life-changing moments include becoming a grandmother, swimming across Narragansett Bay , getting a motorcycle license and saying “Sure, c’mon in” to Derek when he randomly knocked on her door in Newport looking for a place to live while watching his plan for a brewery, thus giving birth to her eventual role as Honorary Brewery Mom. In 2007 Linn got sucked into the brewery vortex when she offered to provide part-time office support. If it's Tuesday, the brewery is where you’ll find her tracking down receipts, balancing the checkbook and keeping the Storm Crew happy by generating paychecks. When she’s not correcting the crew’s math at the brewery or working her “real” job at a local defense contractor, Linn tries to keep up with her 4 year-old grandson and frequently questions the wisdom of trading her enjoyment of sailing and golf with the demands of tending to a lawn and perpetual house projects. In her downtime (when she can find it) Linn enjoys kayaking, knitting, gardening, deck-sitting and turning up the volume on '70's music.