Team

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Bill Spence

President

Bill is the president of the St. George Brewing Company. He is an Air Force brat and a retired US Air Force Lt. Colonel. He retired at Langley AFB in 1994 and worked as a systems analyst for a defense contractor. He saw a newspaper article of a Brew on Premise that had opened in Virginia Beach in 1996 and visited it on the way to a Boy Scout training event. He got hooked — he bought stock and got involved in the company’s operation. The company decided to move into a commercial brewing operation and built a 15 bbl microbrewery in downtown Hampton in 1999. The building the brewery was in was destroyed in a Christmas Eve fire in 2000. The company relocated to its current location in 2001 and has seen many changes in the brewing industry over the years. He became the president in 2003. Bill is an avid Boy Scouter and is currently the Vice President of Council Operations for the Colonial Virginia Council in Newport News. He has a B.S. in Chemistry from N.C. State University, an M.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University, and an M.S. in Teleprocessing Science from University of Southern Mississippi. He is married to Linda Jo Berk, a retired Air Force Major he met when they were Second Lieutenants in tech school at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. They have two children, Jennifer and William, Jr. William also works at the brewery. If you are looking for Bill, you can find him on a forklift or with a pint of Slumbering Dragon Scotch Ale in hand!

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Heather Gauthier

Business & Sales Manager

Born and raised in Newport News, VA, she currently resides in Poquoson with her daughter. Heather has lived (and consumed many beers) in multiple states, and even lived aboard a 36-foot sailboat for 3 years. Even before joining the St. George team in 2018, Heather’s career has always included food, drink, and people- from corporate and private restaurant management to human resources for a beer distributor. Passionate about food, she still owns her own catering company, Barefoot Gourmet. She loves being a part of our small and amazing brewery family. Handling everything from sales and distribution to HR, event planning, taproom management and everything in between, Heather is involved in all facets of the brewery. Heather stays actively involved in community outreach through volunteering at soup kitchens. Come by the brewery and join her for a pint of English IPA!

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William Spence

Director of Drinking Operations

William was a paramedic for 10 years before deciding to turn to a life of beer. Although he is not a brewer, his knowledge of beer is expansive. After joining the St. George team in 1999, William went on to marry his wife, Jennifer, in 2005. They have one son, Liam. William loves food, obscure music, and other nerdy adventures. You can always find William chatting with guests or playing on his computer with a pint of Golden Ale in hand.

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Scott Batten

Brewmaster

Scott’s love of beer came early after living in Germany and developing a deep appreciation for great beer. After serving craft beer as a bartender for years, he started home brewing in 2012 and then started an apprenticeship with St. George in 2013. He attended brewer’s school at American Brewer’s Guild and became Head Brewer at STG in 2016. He has since been promoted to Brewmaster! Scott’s many recipes include our Honey Meade Lager, Roggen Lager, Baltic Porter, Salted Caramel Oyster Brown, and Hop Sentry IPA. When Scott’s not knee-deep in a tank, you can find him dancing to the Grateful Dead. His current favorite beer is the Oktoberfest.

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Maria Miller

Head Brewer

Maria was medically retired from the military in 2016. Her father was a home brewer and a St. George volunteer, and he is responsible for introducing Maria to her love of beer! After a short-lived taproom stint, she moved over to the production floor. She attended the American Brewing Guild school online and joined our brewing team as an assistant brewer. She has since moved up to head brewer! Her first solo beer at St. George was the Dragon’s Maiden Wit, and she also created the Brut Rose IPA that is brewed with our Pink Boots Hops blend.

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Jacque Kettler

Production

Jacque used to be an avid Michelob Ultra drinker. With some slight teasing from her husband, he convinced her that she needed to try some “good beer,” AKA craft beer. And he was right! Jacque went from “not really liking beer” to loving STG’s Nut Brown Ale. St. George was actually the first craft brewery that Jacque ever visited, while on a trip to Virginia. She started home brewing in 2014, and became involved with the Jefferson County Home Brewer’s club in Festus, MO. Jacque and her husband married in 2015, and she moved to Virginia with her son, Neal. She quickly got involved with the Smithfield Malt and Hops Society, better known as HAMS, a club for local home brewers. In August of 2021, while on a visit to St. George, she was offered a position to work on our production floor. You can find Jacque cleaning tanks, working the kegger, or lending a hand packaging. After work, Jacque enjoys an Oktoberfest or a Weizenbock!

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Kim Hixson

Beertender

Kim officially joined the St. George team in 2013. As a huge craft beer fan, Kim home brews with her husband when she isn’t busy being Mom to her two daughters. She was the mastermind behind “The Dark Knight Winter Invitational,” the first beer festival hosted at St. George. Next time you’re in, join Kim for a pint of Golden Ale!

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Michelle Venzke

Beertender & Sales

Michelle is originally from Hanover, PA. After attending college at the University of Pittsburgh, she worked in social services. In 1998, she met her soon-to-be husband at a brewpub in New Mexico, catching his attention when she ordered a märzen and pronounced it correctly. After becoming a military spouse, Michelle continued her career as an Air Force civilian for 15 years at 7 different assignments. Together, Michelle and her husband Matt are avid beer hunters. Michelle’s sampled the suds at 750 breweries in all 50 states and 15 other countries (and counting)! A friend of St. George for many years, after permanently settling in Hampton Roads, she officially joined the team as a brand ambassador and beertender in 2016. She has since moved into a part-time sales position as well. She has a Masters in human relations, and is also an avid volunteer, helping immigrant families assimilate into our community and improve their English skills. Most Wednesdays you will find her behind the bar. Come try a pint of her favorite beer, the English IPA!

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Jami Batten

Beertender

Jami was born in Hampton, VA and grew up in Yorktown. She graduated from CNU in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts. Life led her to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she raised her children. Leaving her EMS career and Cincinnati behind, she returned to Virginia. She volunteered at the brewery and began learning all about the craft beer industry. In 2019, she started working at St. George as a brand ambassador and beertender. When she isn’t behind the bar in the taproom, you can find her helping keep St. George connected on social media. Come by and visit and grab a pint of Jami’s favorite, Honey Meade Lager.

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Emily Alexander

Brand Ambassador & Sales

Emily has been with us since August 2021. She is a recent Clemson graduate with a B.S. in entrepreneurial management and a minor in animal and veterinary sciences. Although she didn’t know much about craft beer when she started, she has loved learning more about what makes craft beer so great. She currently resides in Richmond, VA and is occasionally in our taproom, but more so at our offsite events. She loves working beer festivals and hosting tastings at Total Wine. She also works on our social media and website curation. Emily’s STG beer of choice is our Hefeweizen!

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Kirsten High

Brand Ambassador

Kirsten grew up in Northern VA, but settled in Newport News after graduating from CNU in 2007. She currently lives with her husband Bryan, son, and German Shepherd Kylo. Kirsten could often be seen at STG with friends and decided to become a brand ambassador in 2022. You can find her working in festivals and events when she’s not teaching. Kirsten has too many favorites at STG so stop by the brewery and grab a flight to try them all!

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Maureen Reister

Brand Ambassador

Maureen moved around a lot as a kid but considers Lima, Ohio her hometown. She graduated with a teaching degree from Xavier University. She and her husband landed in Yorktown because the Army told them to. He is now retired and they plan to stick around because they love all that this area has to offer! They have five kiddos but are really close to being empty nesters. Maureen can be found helping out at festivals, tastings, and events. Maureen is currently a substitute teacher and enjoys coming to St. George with her “teacher friends” for a little R & R after a tough day at the office. You will most likely find her tipping back a Honey Meade Lager.

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Beth Waller

Brand Ambassador

Beth was born and raised in Richmond, VA. In 1996, Beth married the love of her life, Nik, and became a military wife. They have lived all over the US, in Europe, and finally retired to the Hampton Roads area with their 5 children. Beth graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science in Science and a Masters in Teaching. When she isn’t teaching, Beth works for us as a brand ambassador at beer festivals, local tastings and onsite events. Can you believe Beth didn’t drink beer until a few years ago when her husband came home with a bunch of tall boys and had her try them to find out what she liked and didn’t like? The wheat beers won! Beth’s St. George go-to beers are Dragon’s Maiden Wit, Knight’s Respite and Raven Queen, a delicious dunkel!

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Andy Rathmann

Original Brewmaster, Retired

After twenty-two years of dedication, hard work, and many, many beers, St. George Brewing Company said a tearful goodbye to Andy Rathmann, as Brewmaster of St. George. He retired at the end of 2021. Andy has been the vision behind so many of our stellar, award-winning beers.

Rathmann did an internship in Germany at Weihenstephan, for brewing, as well as studying in places from hop fields to malting houses. He then went on to earn a master’s certificate in brewing from the University of California at Davis, which is affiliated with the Institute of Brewing in London. He would become an award-winning Brewer at several US microbreweries as well as a consultant to nearly forty startup breweries worldwide before coming to be the Brewmaster at St. George in 1999.  Many local brewers have come through St. George to work with Andy and learn the craft of brewing. It is a pleasure to be part of a great local brewing community.

St. George has won numerous awards over the years under Andy’s leadership in the brewhouse to include the English Ale Awards, United State Beer Tasting Championship, VEER, VA Craft Brewers Guild, and many more. He rounded out his award-winning career by being presented with the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from VEER at the 2021 Golden Tap Awards.

We at St. George, and anyone that has had the pleasure to get to work with Andy over the years, are sad to see him go, but we are excited for his next chapter. We know that he will be raising a beer with us many times more in the future!

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