Major: Baking & Pastry Arts
Job Title: Brewmaster, Rock Bottom Restaurants & Brewery
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Dave Peacock had a secret the whole time he was studying baking and pastry at the CIA; working at Todd English’s Olives in Washington, DC; and leading the baking and pastry start-up at the Sofitel, also in DC. He was, in truth, a “basement brewer.”
He would make chocolate in class with Chef Peter Greweling and learn the fine art of bread baking from Chef Richard Coppedge. He would spend long days creating delicious breads and desserts for delighted restaurant patrons. But, at the end of each day he couldn’t wait to get home to his basement brewery. So, when the opportunity arose for him to make a shift from bread to beer, he took it.
Dave has been working for Rock Bottom Restaurants and Brewery, a company with 38 local breweries around the country, for the past five years. He is currently brewmaster at their Loveland, CO location. And for him, the brewing of quality beer isn’t that far removed from the creation of great bread. “Actually, the science behind making bread and brewing beer aren’t that different,” Dave says. “I propagate yeast and create starters that have to be fed for both processes.” The precision and science that he learned at the CIA has served him well. His knowledge of what it takes to make a great meal makes it easier for him to work closely with the restaurant’s chef, finding appropriate pairings of food and beer. In fact, Dave is currently developing a recipe for beer bread that Rock Bottom can serve in all of its pubs.
His beers go straight from brewing vat to glass, making it possible for him to craft beers that respond to the seasons, the chef’s culinary creations, and the publics’ preferences. He holds a monthly tapping of new specialty beers to introduce patrons to a broader range of choices.
When asked what he does when not at work, Dave reports that he and his wife (who is a teacher) love to bake and cook. They enjoy working in their garden and making homemade breads, crackers, and granolas in their spare time. At least now, after so many years, they have full use of their basement. After all, Dave’s got a whole brewery at his disposal. And that’s no secret.