Co-Founder & Director of Brewery Operations
A native San Diegan, Tomme returned home to San Diego in 1995 after earning his Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Arizona University where he cultivated his passion for brewing. In March of 1996, he began his professional brewing career at the now defunct Cervecerias La Cruda (The Hangover Brewery) in downtown San Diego. Working under the guidance of Troy Hojel, Tomme developed his passion for brewing flavor driven beers. The two brewers worked on many new recipes and processes that Tomme still uses today. Cervecerias La Cruda earned a Gold Medal at the 1996 Great American Beer Festival and at that point it was only the second Gold Medal earned at this prestigious competition by a San Diego brewery.
After La Cruda closed it doors in March of 1997, Tomme went to work for White Labs in San Diego. Working with Chris and Lisa White, Tomme spent his days selling yeast and developing product as he waited patiently for the right brewing job to become available. In May of 1997 he was hired by Pizza Port in Solana Beach where he remained the Head Brewer until June of 2005 when he was named Director of Brewery Operations for Pizza Port.
In addition to promoting San Diego as a great beer city, Tomme worked to create many unique beers and his ongoing experiments included oak aging of beers, using fruits, herbs and spices along with numerous wild yeasts and micro-organisms. Each of these experiments further emboldened Tomme to try new processes and even some time honored processes (like barrel aging) as he and the brewers of Pizza Port Solana Beach sought to make the most interesting beers possible.
During the 8 plus years that Tomme was Head Brewer in Solana Beach, the brewery won 13 Great American Beer Festival Medals, numerous medals at the Chicago Real Ale Festival as well as other regional and national competitions. In 2003 and 2004 Pizza Port Solana Beach was named Small Brewpub of the Year. Tomme was also named Small Brewpub Brewer of the year for both years.
After joining Port Brewing in 2006, Tomme kept up his winning ways. In 2007 Port Brewing was named Great American Beer Festival Small Brewery of the Year, and Tomme Small Brewer of the Year. In 2008 he and Port Brewing were named World Champion Small Brewer and Brewery at the international World Beer Cup. Since then he’s taken home a raft of medals and been consistently noted as one of the world’s top brewers.Back to Brethren