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JIM WITHEE FOUNDER, CEO, CHIEF SCIENTIST, HEAD JANITOR

JIM WITHEE FOUNDER, CEO, CHIEF SCIENTIST, HEAD JANITOR

The most mysterious and beautiful part of brewing is fermentation. Think about it: a live microorganism transforms the sugars and protein from malt into a complex flavorful fizzy beverage. You’d think by now someone would have figured out how to make synthetic beer. But they haven’t. We still depend on live brewers yeast for that transformation today just like humans have for thousands of years. It’s one of the most complex and beautiful transformations in nature and the alchemy of fermentation has fascinated the best scientific minds for hundreds of years. I founded GigaYeast, Inc. to be a part of the craft beer and home brew movement using the skills and love for yeast and fermentation I cultivated over 20 + years of science and beer. As a young graduate student I received a PhD for studies on yeast genetics. After graduate school I worked at the Saccharomyces Genome Database– that’s where the then newly sequenced DNA of brewers yeast was first completed. All the while I was watching the craft beer movement grow and gaining a deeper and deeper appreciation for truly fine brew. After years of work as a Government Scientist I finally quit my high paying job and built the GigaYeast Laboratory. I put everything I know (and own!) into this laboratory and the end result is a process that creates perfect yeast. Now get out there and brew– we’re getting thirsty making all this beautiful yeast.

LOREN GIBBS HEAD OF PRODUCTION

LOREN GIBBS HEAD OF PRODUCTION

I worked in food service and restaurant management for most of my life before coming to GigaYeast. Food and beer together are a natural pair and I enjoy learning about and consuming both. I have a degree in history from California State University Sacramento. Drinking beer taught me to appreciate the taste of great beer from different places around the world and from different eras. History taught me how beer has influenced, and been influenced by, human cultures across the world and through the ages. I’ve never lost a match of Edward Forty Hands. If you don’t know what that is you’ll have to stop by GigaYeast and ask me.

CASSIE TENCATE YEAST MICROBIOLOGIST

CASSIE TENCATE YEAST MICROBIOLOGIST

As a native South Dakotan, I grew up around cows and corn. My family introduced me to craft beer early in life, and I was hooked. While attending South Dakota State University I started working at the local brewing company. There my love for craft beer really blossomed. I started South Dakota’s first Girls Pint Out chapter, a women’s craft beer organization. After I graduated in May of 2015 with a degree in Biological Science, I married my wonderful husband Dustin and moved to the Bay Area. Now that I work at GigaYeast; I get to combine my two favorite things, beer and science. In my spare time I also run the San Jose Girls Pint Out chapter.

AMELIA MCCULLOUGH OFFICE MANAGER

AMELIA MCCULLOUGH OFFICE MANAGER

I joined GigaYeast as the Office Manager in August 2016. Outside of the office, I enjoy homebrewing and cheering for the Wisconsin Badgers. New to the Bay Area, I have been exploring the craft beer scene along with my trusty sidekicks Ben and Flint. In my former life, I was Co-Director for an archaeological laboratory in Belize, researching Maya sites. I highly recommend Belize as a great vacation destination for both beach lovers and trail blazers.

ROXIE THE DOG

ROXIE THE DOG

Roxie splits her time in the office between lying in the sunny patch near the window, scaring off delivery persons and getting petted by brewers.

AMAR BASI PROPAGATION ENGINEER

AMAR BASI PROPAGATION ENGINEER

I was born and raised in the heart of Silicon Valley. After graduating high school, I decided that a working-class hero was something to be and this mindset led me to bounce around at odd jobs in Southern California while learning to surf. A desire to learn more about and experience my ethnic identity lead me to complete a National Outdoor Leadership School semester abroad in India. This experience humbled me and uncovered a desire to return to school. I graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Anthropology and was drawn to the disciplines consideration of culture’s impact on our species’ biology and vice versa. After graduating from UCLA, I worked for a C.R.O. where I discovered my penchant and comfort for benchwork. This experience ultimately led me to my position here at GigaYeast where I hope to expand my skillset under the guidance of the fabulous staff here.

LUCY CAO YEAST LABORATORY TECHNICIAN

LUCY CAO YEAST LABORATORY TECHNICIAN

Growing up in the Bay Area, my passion for homebrewing took root at UC Santa Barbara as a biology undergrad learning about fermentation from a former winemaker turned professor. After lurking through too many brewing forums and obtaining my degree in 2017, I finally made my first batch of simple hard cider as a graduation present to myself. Like a switch, I immediately became obsessed with creating more batches to experiment with and I’m constantly on the lookout for new flavors and combinations to try. Needless to say, I’ve become a massive fan of craft beers, ciders, and meads — you name it! Formerly a field biologist and botany enthusiast, I’m very happy to have landed at GigaYeast in 2018 and be a part of the amazing craft brew scene in the Bay Area. Outside of the lab, I also love to draw and cook.

FLINT OFFICE DOG

FLINT OFFICE DOG

When not heralding office deliveries, Flint enjoys relaxing in the sun, exploring new breweries with his people, and always looking out for new things to eat.

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