Meet The Brewer – Matt

Matt Garcia is Alibi’s Head Brewer and one hell of a good guy, husband, father, friend, and brewer! We sat down to ask him a few questions so y’all can get to know him a bit more.

brewers changing kegs
Matt & Kevin (owner) in the early days!

When did you first begin brewing and what was the first beer you ever brewed?

I was 16 years old. No one would buy me beer so my friend and I realized we could buy everything you needed to make beer online (this was the beginning of the online shopping era). So we bought everything we needed to brew our first beer (behind our parent’s backs). We named it Afternoon Delight, it was an Orange Honey Wheat, and DAMN, it was good! From there, in high school I went to work for a homebrewing shop that eventually expanded into a brewery. I swept floors, helped on the register, stacked grain & was their helper in all the ways except for adding yeast or handling the beer itself (in the eyes of the law). I worked for them for years until I decided to move to Incline Village where I went to Sierra College. I also attended UC Davis Intensive Brewing Science for Practical Brewing. Someone mentioned that a brewery was opening in the neighborhood so I popped by head into what we all know now as Alibi and told them I wanted to brew for them and I was hired! (What I didn’t tell them was that I was still just 20 years young.) In between then and now I moved to Minnesota where I worked for a couple different breweries but eventually made my way back to Tahoe. Been here [at Alibi] ever since.

What is your favorite beer to brew?

That definitely changes seasonally. It used to be sours, then I was really into lagers but lately I really love playing with all kinds of hops. I really just love making delicious beer.

What is the hardest beer to brew?

A light lager because there’s nothing to hide behind. The sours you have the acidity – the ipas the hops and bitterness to hide behind. With lagers, you need to be on your A game.

What is your favorite non-Alibi beer?

Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA – I drink the hell out of that beer.

What is your favorite Alibi beer to drink?

I currently am really loving Snowflake IPA but I always love our Kolsch – one of our core 4.

If there were a beer that you could brew with no regards to cost or production or sales, what would it be and why?

That’s a hard one. In terms of no matter the cost to make – I would make fresh hopped and double IPAs all the time. We made the Intergalactic Harvester which was phenomenal and so fun but very expensive to make. If I wasn’t thinking about sales, I would make a ton of German Style Lagers, but mostly because I love to drink them.

Thanks for taking the time to answering some questions and for all you do, Matt!

4 Responses

  1. Love your Kolsch, my personal favorite. And hope to see the Gose back soon. Curious, does Alibi pasteurize their beers?

    1. Hi Brett,
      The Cucumber Gose is on tap now!
      And no, we don’t pasteurize our beers! But we use methods/clarifying agent that makes our beers stable!

  2. Your bartender said your beers are ALL gluten free due to something added to the beer…. Is that correct?….

    1. Yes it’s true!
      Back in 2018, we began playing around with a with a gluten-reducing enzyme from the fermentation wizards at @whitelabsyeast. True to their claims, there was no difference in our beers’ flavor, aroma or body, but the enzyme reduced gluten to less than 20ppm. Since then, we haven’t looked back. All our 18+ draft beers and 10+ rotating canned beer are not only delicious but also gluten-reduced and easy on your gut! It’s been awesome to hear from customers who feel great after an Alibi (or three)!

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