Name: Jesse W. Woods
Where you work:
Black Tooth Brewery
What you do: Manage Black Tooth taproom, special events and social media
Where did you grow up?
Born and raised in Sheridan, Wyoming!
How did you end up working at Black Tooth Brewing Company?
Travis Zeilstra (our co-founder/head brewer) and his wife came and bought a couch from my family’s furniture store, Warehouse Furniture, shortly after opening Black Tooth Brewery. A conversation came up about being a beer-tender for Black Tooth. Travis interviewed me and gave me the position. That was March of 2011.
You and your wife live in the area and you have a little one. Why did you choose Sheridan as the place to set down roots?
Being born and raised in Sheridan, I have a strong attachment here. My family has run businesses in the area for over 25 years and I love the fact that we know everyone. My wife came to Sheridan from Cheyenne to attend the Sheridan College dental hygiene program and fell in love with the area. Rolling hills, beautiful mountains and, of course, Sheridan does not have the wind Cheyenne does. We both felt Sheridan was the right place for us to raise our family because of the opportunities and beauty that Sheridan provides.
Are you involved in the community outside of the brewery? If so, how?
Most of my community involvement time comes from working with different nonprofit groups to help them get prepared to hold community pint nights at Black Tooth.
You’ve really helped the craft beer scene in Sheridan County grow. Why is that important and what do you hope to accomplish moving forward?
Craft beer breweries are nationally and internationally known for being deeply involved in our local communities. If the community is healthy and thriving, and that’s very important to everyone, then the businesses in that area can also be healthy and thriving. Craft beer, and I believe Black Tooth Brewery in our area, plays a major part in that equation. Moving forward, my goal every day is to make sure Black Tooth provides a meeting place for our community to use where people can bring ideas, network with others and enjoy themselves over a pridefully and locally made craft beer.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bighorn Mountains? Why?
My wife, daughter and I love camping, so anytime we can get up in the mountains and do that and maybe sneak in some horseback riding and fishing that’s a great day.
Sheridan County has a ton of nonprofits. Are there any causes that are particularly near and dear to your heart? Why?
There are a lot of different causes in the area and I am supportive of many. I think the Sheridan Community Land Trust is doing some great things in regards to helping keep Sheridan beautiful, gaining access for more people while also allowing ranchers and farmers to keep working their land. The Food Group is also a great group of people helping make sure our kids have meals.
What impact can you see the under-40 crowd having on the future of the community and Wyoming as a whole?
I can see a huge impact, especially in our community here in Sheridan. Our town has already been growing over the last 10 years and I believe in part to this under-40 age group. Breweries, bike paths, unique businesses and artisans are all making Sheridan a great place to live. The under-40-year-olds are already doing great things now. We’re talking about a group of young people who want to open businesses, see more locally made products and love to be stewards of our natural resources. Wyoming is fortunate that we still generally hold the same values as our parents and grandparents. Be honest, work hard and help when you can.
What is the best beer Black Tooth has ever made? Where’s your favorite spot to drink it?
Best beer ever? That would be “The Shuffle.” It was brewed about five years ago and was a French Belgian Saison. Great beer. Best spot would be on the patio, maybe a little bit of shade and hanging out with my wife, family and our friends.