Meet The Minds Behind Melvin

Jeremy Tofte

Co-Founder / Field Hop­er­a­tive
Jeremy Tofte

Jere­my, like all good mod­ern day drinkers, is all heart & soul when it comes to craft beer. He found­ed Thai Me Up restau­rant in Jack­son Hole, WY in 2000. He was work­ing as a wait­er in the cur­rent Thai Me Up space and just like most restau­rants in the most expen­sive town in Amer­i­ca, it went under. Being the hus­tler that he is, he talked the land­lord into giv­ing him the keys to the space. After paint­ing the walls and learn­ing Thai food, he opened and imme­di­ate­ly start­ed ruin­ing people’s vaca­tions by play­ing loud hip hop and Kung Fu while hav­ing fun at work. 

Fast For­ward six years: After the town of Jack­son refused to give him a liquor license for the 4th time to start his dream brew­ery and instead kept giv­ing them to the 1%, he sold TMU on Ebay (yep) and spent the next two years surf­ing in New Zealand, Aus­tralia and Indone­sia. But the good lord would not let the dream end there! Just like most restau­rants in the most expen­sive town in Amer­i­ca, Thai Me Up went under and the land­lord called him up and gave him the place back! No shit? Amaz­ing. Sell­ing his 1984 Mer­cedes wag­on to pay for a 20 gal­lon brew­ing sys­tem, he reopened Thai Me Up as a brew­ery and start­ed the swing towards Melvin in 2009. 

Jere­my was born in Mon­tana, and grew up in both Ore­gon and North­west, WA where he began work­ing at a beer dis­trib­u­tor­ship in High School. Jere­my made the mis­take of going to col­lege in Bend which only made his snow­board­ing and “micro­brew” habit worse. He lat­er received his degree from Port­land State in some mun­dane sub­ject as we all know that is the eas­i­est school in Ore­gon. After some years in Port­land, and chas­ing pow all over the West­ern US, he moved to Jack­son Hole in 1995 where his life has been crum­bling under­neath him ever since. His oth­er inter­ests include mak­ing fun of bad brew­ery names. Jere­my is entire­ly com­mit­ted to hav­ing the most fun, brew­ing the best beer, and mak­ing the most peo­ple laugh on any giv­en day.

Kirk McHale

Co-Founder / Head Don­key

Kirk McHale. Kirk McGurt. Kirkles… The mas­ter­mind of Melvin. Kirk began home brew­ing when he was just 14 years old (!?) with his broth­er in Cal­i­for­nia. He began his first brew­ing job at age 20 at the now Defunct Baja Brew­ing Co. in San Diego. From there, Kirk went to Piz­za Port Brew­ing Com­pa­ny where he was in charge of both Carls­bad, and San Clemente loca­tions. Fol­low­ing Piz­za Port, Kirk found­ed Break­wa­ter Brew­ing in Ocean­side, CA where he still remains par­tial own­er.

Kirk then took some time off, met a beau­ti­ful woman, and she man­aged to talk him into mov­ing to Jack­son for a change of scenery. Now Kirk resides in Jack­son edu­cat­ing the Wyoming hip­sters in good beer. His expe­ri­ence brew­ing, and exper­i­men­ta­tion with this, that, and the oth­er hop, has only exceed­ed expec­ta­tions and his pas­sion for brew­ing the best has only just begun. This is all about fun for Kirk, and as far as we know he’s nev­er going to stop (giv­ing a f*ck). He makes his own hours, he brews what­ev­er he wants, and it’s the best life as he knows it. He rules!

In oth­er words, Kirk was des­tined to be, the Drunk­en Brew­mas­ter.

Kirk-McHale

Dave Chichura

Head Pro­duc­tion Brew­er
Dave-Chichura

Dave was born a poor black child…No, that was Steve Mar­tin in “The Jerk”. Dave is actu­al­ly from a tiny town in South Jer­sey where he spent most of his time being bit­ten by every annoy­ing insect nature had to offer. Some­times he went fish­ing, but most­ly stud­ied every facet of Pink Floyd’s musi­cal teach­ings at full vol­ume. Then he went to col­lege where he learned how to throw a fris­bee, very well. Once the game of fris­bee throw­ing felt like a thing of the past, he dis­cov­ered ‘real beer’. It was in the form of a Guin­ness Extra Stout and it is that par­tic­u­lar beer’s fault that he found him­self crav­ing a brew­ing ‘career’.

Dave’s first brew­ing gig was with the Rock Bot­tom Restau­rant & Brew­ery in Indi­anapo­lis in 1996. He had been a home brew­er for a cou­ple of years and decid­ed that it would be real­ly cool to make beer for a liv­ing, and sure ’nuff’ it was. After a few years with Rock Bot­tom at a cou­ple dif­fer­ent loca­tions, he found him­self work­ing at Bell’s Brew­ery in Kala­ma­zoo, MI. He worked there for just a year before he got a job with a small brew­pub in Boul­der, CO called Moun­tain Sun, work­ing along­side them for about two years.

Dave then took a hia­tus from brew­ing and 8 months (six months of which was spent mov­ing pianos, or as his friend put it more euphemisti­cal­ly ‘in the music busi­ness’). Once his music busi­ness came to a close, he found him­self work­ing at Oskar Blues in Lyons, CO. Oskar Blues was a small brew­ery at the time, about 3,000 bar­rels in pro­duc­tion the year before he start­ed. This was an increas­ing amount of its beer in 12 oz cans, a rar­i­ty in craft beer at the time. Near­ly Nine years lat­er, OB start­ed new pro­duc­tion facil­i­ties across the US, adding many more peo­ple and a sh*tload more pro­duc­tion. By the time Dave left in 2013, Oskar Blues was pro­duc­ing near­ly 100,000 bar­rels annu­al­ly. Dave had one more 10 month gig with a brew­ery in South Cen­tral Col­orado, where he built anoth­er brew­ing facil­i­ty and did their very best to pro­duce as much beer as pos­si­ble with­in a small brew­ing sys­tem.

With bare­ly a moment’s notice, Jere­my Tofte sent a very cryp­tic text mes­sage to Dave sum­mon­ing him to work for Melvin, and now… Dave resides in Alpine, where all of his hard work will once again be put to the test. Luck­i­ly, Alpine has less skin eat­ing bugs, and a ton of fish­ing, so we expect Dave will get along just fine.

In the words of Pink Floyd…Then at last the mighty ship, Descend­ing on a point of flame, Made con­tact with the Tofte, in ol’ Alpine. Now, now, now is the time… time to make some damn good beer.

Will Morrow

Finan­cial Guru and Chief Adult Super­vi­sor

Will grew up in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, as well as a ranch out in Car­rie, Ida­ho. His expe­ri­ence in the finan­cial world is vast. From LA, to Wall Street, and all wind­ing roads to Chi­na, he has proved his abil­i­ty to keep up with the Melvins in a way that pro­motes smart busi­ness, and pos­i­tive atti­tudes all around.

Will used to call in orders at Thai me up back in the day and Jere­my assumed Will was just a mere “office boy”, unaware of his full capa­bil­i­ties. They final­ly sat down and spoke about finan­cial goals and expe­ri­ences in Novem­ber 2013 and Jere­my then added Will to the team. Will is sold on the big pic­ture of Melvin as well as the strate­gies and func­tion­al­i­ty that comes with start­ing a busi­ness. This is Wills first expe­ri­ence work­ing with a Brew­ery and the first time in his life he has found him­self sit­ting around the table with a bunch of “mag­i­cal brains”.

In the words of Will Mor­row, “…this expe­ri­ence starts and ends with pas­sion.” Pas­sion for the job, the peo­ple involved, and the incred­i­ble beer that is being brewed. Awards are awards, but “lack of giv­ing a shit”, and doing exact­ly what you want in life can speak a hell of a lot loud­er. So basi­cal­ly, what he’s say­ing is we should keep on not giv­ing a shit, with high func­tion­ing friends. Crunch the num­bers, crush the can. 

Want to end the day on a good note? Drink a good beer.”

Ted Whitney

Sales Direc­tor
Ted-Whitney-on-Hoth-2