Head Brewer Scott Shuler
What do you get when you cross a tenacity for details, a proficiency for tinkering, a love of cooking, and formal training in theology? Well, you get 12 Gates Brewing Company’s Head Brewer Scott Shuler of course. In just five short years Scott has gone from homebrew noob to an official partner with 12 Gates.
So where does this whirlwind story begin?
Scott was born and raised in Southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. If you are picturing rolling hills and Amish buggies, then you are spot on. After graduating from high school in ’95, Scott hopped around various jobs including a year of college before making his way down to Tampa, Florida. In Florida, Scott learned and achieved licenses in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), machinist, low voltage electrical, and fire/ security alarm technician. During this time, he also acquired a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Religion and Theology from Liberty University and is currently licensed and ordained as a Southern Baptist pastor.
After spending 6 years as a student and associate pastor he made the decision to focus on his family and stepped out of ministry. And this is when he caught the homebrewing bug. His wife Nichole purchased him a “learn to homebrew” class as a Christmas present. Soon after, he gathered various pieces of used equipment and turned his kitchen into his personal homebrew disaster area. As with most beginners, he experimented with extract kits but quickly moved to partial mashes and brew-in-a-bag. And after ruining his stove he decided to make the move to all-grain; he designed and built his own full brewing system. This facilitated the creation of his own recipes and like many homebrewers, he entertained the dream of having his very own brewery. With his wife Nichole’s blessing he began that pursuit.
While learning how to home brew Scott made friends with the employees at the local homebrew shops. This is how he found out about homebrew clubs and joined the Tampa Bay B.E.E.R.S.. Here Scott socialized, traded ideas, met some great friends, and honed in on his homebrewing skills. He also found out about a local nano brewery who was looking for a bartender. So he packed up his best homebrew and a resume and drove over to Three Palms Brewing. As fate goes he landed the job and found out that he went to high school with the owner’s wife in Pennsylvania. Small world huh? At Three Palms he studied nano brewing, cellaring, kegging, keg cleaning, bartending, and general brewery operations. Scott is very thankful for the time he got to spend with the owners Randy and Danelle Reaver and the great friendships that came out of that small brewery. The time he spent at Three Palms gave rise to him accepting a full-time position as a cellarman at Two Henrys Brewing Company, located outside of Tampa in Plant City.
At Two Henrys, Scott quickly grew from cellarman to assistant brewer, and then to brewer in just a few short months. After the Head Brewer Clay left to start a new brewery in Buffalo, NY, Scott took the reins of Two Henrys and led the charge for two years. One of the most unique experiences Scott took away from Two Henrys was learning wine and cider making from the adjoining winery and cidery which is located on the blueberry farm that Two Henrys was sited. And after two great years at Two Henrys, it was time for Scott to spread his wings and shoot for something he could put his name on. So, in March of 2016, he met with Todd Wilhelm, one of the partners at 12 Gates Brewing Company, and began the process of transitioning from Tampa to Buffalo.
Scott is extremely humbled and enthusiastic about the time he has been with 12 Gates since 2016. He has put together a great team and grown the brewery in both quality and quantity. If there is one thing Scott can attribute to his success at 12 Gates over the past year it would be the people. He enjoys working with the partners, their distributor Try It, their Production Manager Rob, and the great crew he has handpicked. Every day you can hear the sounds of equipment running and beer being brewed, but over that, you can hear the laughter of everyone working together. This great cohort of personnel, and great beer, has led to the continuing success at 12 Gates. And this success led to the fruition of an opportunity of a lifetime and on June 1st, Scott was named a partner at the brewery.