A Clifton native, Founder and President Tom Rachelski is a dedicated husband and father of three. He attended the Citadel, and has an MBA in Finance from Rutgers University. Tom is a US Army veteran who served for 12 months in Kuwait. He currently works in corporate wealth management, and enjoys home brewing.
Also a Clifton native, Founder and Vice President Steve Bauer has a business degree from Montclair State University, and has been doing branding and design for nearly 15 years through his own freelance consulting firm, GRZ Creative. He got his start with graphic design during the early 2000s, in the local North Jersey skateboarding and live music scenes. He has also been a long-time bartender and DJ in a number of local Clifton-area bars.
As an enthusiastic homebrewer since 1986 with a passion for beers of quality and character, Chris Sheehan moved to California in 1989. There he worked his way into the brewing trade at Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley, now the oldest brewpub in the U.S.
After gaining certification in sanitation and microbiology at the University of California at Davis, he became the head brewer at 20 Tank Brewery in San Francisco. Chris worked there for 6 years and after winning awards he moved back east to brew beer in New York City.
Now back in NYC, he became head brewer at Chelsea Brewing Company in Manhattan, winning awards, enhancing the business, and establishing successful brands. After 12 years, he felt he needed a new challenge, so he helped to establish the Port 44 Brewpub in Newark, NJ.
He then became the brewer at J.J. Bitting, one of New Jersey’s most well established brewpubs. From there, Chris went on to launch Gun Hill Brewing Company in Bronx, NY, establishing brands and winning more awards.
Defiant Brewing Company in Pearl River, NY was his latest step in an endeavor to enhance that company. In his 27-year professional brewing career, he has now worked at 8 breweries in 3 states and won 9 Great American Beer Festival medals (including 5 Gold Medals) along with other awards like the 2004 FX Matt Memorial Cup for best brewery in New York State.