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Welcome to our Team: Jack Van Paepeghem

The Maine Brew Bus is pleased to welcome Jack Van Paepeghem to our faculty in the position of Curriculum Coordinator. Learn more about Jack and what he can share with all of us.

Jack behind the bar at Oxbow Blending and Bottling. Heather Steeves photo for

Jack behind the bar at Oxbow Blending and Bottling. Heather Steeves photo for

Our faculty has a new team member, Jack Van Paepeghem of Portland. Jack joins us to serve in the key position of Curriculum Coordinator.

In this role, Jack will help improve the level of beer education among our own team members, the hospitality industry, and the general public.

We pride ourselves that our theme is education focused brewery tours and more. Our founder Zach was a teacher for a long time.  We use converted school buses on our tours, and we use the term “Guidance Counselor” to describe our guides.

On our tours you going to visit producers, drink alcohol, meet new friends, and have a great time.

But you will also have the opportunity to learn much more along the journey in the green bus. A little about the history of alcohol in Portland and in Maine, a review of the fermentation process, insight on the business plans of the owners and founders of the producers, and even some nuggets of trivia help to round out the information we share on each tour.

Jack will help to being together our internal training programs so that our guides are as knowledgeable as possible. He will be available to conduct on site workshops and formal beer training programs for restaurants, bars, and hotels in Southern Maine. We are even looking at putting together a Introduction to Beer class that will be open to the general public.

Here’s a little more about Jack, in his own words:

Originally from Sun Valley, Idaho, I’ve taken a long beer-filled journey which landed me in Portland, Maine two years ago. In that time I have immersed myself in the local beer and brewing community.

After graduating with a degree in sociocultural anthropology, I quickly ended up working in one of Washington D.C.’s most regarded craft beer bars where I begin my pursuit of beer knowledge and service and was D.C’s youngest Certified Cicerone at the age of 23.

Looking to gain a more technical brewing background, I traveled to Chicago and Munich with The Siebel Institute and Doemens Academy, where I received my diploma in International Brewing Technology and got a first hand look at Europe’s various brewing traditions.

It was the high quality of life and quality of beer which brought me to Maine.

Having worked in both the brewing and bar sides of the beer industry, I’ve taken on the role of Maine Brew Bus’s Curriculum Coordinator to work with and educate the beer community to help Portland and the greater Maine beer scene live up to and exceed its reputation as being one of the best in the nation.

Look for much more from Jack in the future. He is certified to drive our tours, and you may see him on the road from time to time. This will give him a good viewpoint to hear our different guides and help to improve their knowledge base.

He will be offering up some of his own posts in this space covering beer education themes as well as updates on his journey as he works to add his name to the prestigious list of 11 people in the world who have attained Master certification in the Cicerone program. Follow Jack on Twitter: @BeerChops

Don Littlefield is the Assistant Principal of The Maine Brew Bus. He is looking forward to learning a lot from Jack, who has a lot of great information to share. Twitter: @BeerinME