vag·a·bond ˈvagəˌbänd/noun a rascal; a rogue
Despite it's other meaning, a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job, there are few in the (brewing) industry that haven't been inspired by Thomas Munoz.
Much like the rascal he is, Tom has worked for some of the most memorable breweries, inspiring others to work harder, and think outside the norms of what a brewer should be. Today he needs the support of the community at large.
Sunday, April 27th, Naked City Brewing is hosting a fund raiser for Tom Munoz. Recently Tom Munoz was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, which has resulted in Osteoarthritis impacting his hip. Regrettably a brewery salary cannot cover all the medical bills. Which is why you're invited to stop into Naked City from 1pm to 4pm.
This coming Sunday, April 27th from 1PM till 4PM Naked City will be hosting a fundraiser to help with the cost of surgery, rehab and living expenses.
We will have beers from The Ram, Black Raven, Triplehorn, Silver City and Naked City. $5 a beer (Please bring cash!) and raffle tickets for some truly amazing prizes! Prizes include wine, beer, gift certificates to local restaurants and finally a Brew Date with our very own Don Webb!!!
We hope to see you all there and remember, there's no great beer without great brewers!
Required reading if you want to know the real Tom.
Back in 1979, at the age of 21, Tom began his brewery career, starting out as a tour guide at Rainier Brewery.
“The beers back then were pretty good,” he says. “I was giving a tour to a group of Japanese tourists when Mount St Helens erupted. We didn’t even know anything was happening.” *
Eventually he would leave Rainier, due to creative differences, and would eventually work for Boeing in 1981, around the time microbrewed beers (like Alaskan, Bert Grant's, Sierra Nevada, and Pike) began lining the shelves.
“I remember trying these beers along with a few imports, and I was hooked,” Tom says. *
Taking inspiration from these breweries, Tom would join the Boeing Beer & Wine Club and began brewing beer at home. Eventually he would leave Boeing and the Boeing Beer & Wine Club, only to join Larry Reifenberick** and the homebrew club "Impaling Alers".
Then in 1992, at the urging of his wife, Munoz attended the University of California, Davis, where he studied and received certifications in "Fermentation Science, Food Science, Sanitation/Microbiology and Brewery Design". Shortly afterwards he took his first brewery position, working alongside the famous Teri Fahrendorf ***, and Tom Chase at Fish Brewing (Olympia, Washington).
Feeling inspired Tom would depart Fish to with brewers like Matt Munoz (Portland Brewing), Alexander Diem (Banff Brewing in Calgary, Alberta). Of the people that Tom worked for in the early days, after college, it was Alexander who would teach Tom the most about German-style beers.
In 1995 Tom would get his first head brewer position, working for Glacier Peak Brewing (Everett, Washington). As the head brewer of Glacier Peak, Tom would use techniques learned from the University of California - Davis to create recipes, while employing quality assurance in his beer. Unfortunately the brewery would only be open for a year, during which time Tom established relationships with Diamond Knot's Bob Maphet and the late Brian Sollenberger, as well as (then brewer) Pike Brewing's Fal Allen.
Taking leave of the Pacific Northwest, Tom would start his first consulting role, at Habeneros Brewing in Tucson (Arizona). Shortly afterwards Glacier Peak contacted him to return as head brewer. Under new ownership and re-branded (as Flying Pig Brewing Company), Tom returned to Washington where he worked for the brewery for 2 years.
Starting in 2000, Tom accepted the role of head brewer at Far West Brewing (in Redmond, Washington). For six years (until its closure in 2007), Tom would produce award winning beers - including medals at The Great American Beer Festival and the North American Beer Awards.
After it's (Far West Brewing) closure in 2007, Tom took on the role of head brewer for Stix Brewing in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. With a strong focus on beer, pizza, and billiards, the place seemed a fit for Tom and his approach to brewing. Unfortunately the brewery and business would shutter, impacted by the SLU Trolley construction of that year.
Since his work at Stix, Tom has gone on to work at Silver City Brewing (Bremerton/Silverdale, Washington), Salmon Creek (Vancouver, Washington), Naked City Brewery and Taproom (Seattle, Washington), Tapp Brewing (Lake Tapps, Washington), Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company (Snoqualmie, Washington), Alpine (Orting, Washington), Anacortes Brewing (Anacortes, Washington), Triplehorn Brewing (Woodinville, Washington), Lazy Boy (Everett, Washington), and Redhook Ales (Woodinville, Washington).
“In the last 20 years I’ve enjoyed great beer and great people, and I hope to continue to make good beers,” Tom says. “It’s been a great ride so far”!*
Today Tom can be found assisting his friends to produce interesting wines and ciders.
* source, Northwest Brewing News ** founder of Larry's Brewing Supply in Kent (Washington). *** founder of the Pink Boots Society
Northwest Beer Guide