Rising Star Brewer Jerry Gnagy of Against the Grain Brewery - Biography

Louisville, KY

February 2014

2014 Kentucky-Tennessee Rising Star Brewer Jerry Gnagy got into brewing beer before he could legally drink it, making beer as a teenager in high school (and enjoying all the social perks of said after school activity). And if his skills as an adolescent weren’t quite yet up to snuff, at least Gnagy knew something pretty immediately: traditional recipes weren’t going to cut it.

Early into his brewing career—or what would become his career—Gnagy was eager to experiment with his own ideas and ingredients, building upon traditional templates (as opposed to just endlessly recreating and perfecting them). And while he didn’t abandon higher education in favor of hoppier education, graduating from Fort Hays State University in Kansas, Gnagy was bound for professional brewing.

Gnagy’s longest stop to date was Bluegrass Brewing Co. in Louisville, Kentucky. Gnagy arrived in a period of transition, which ended up benefiting both him and the brewery. Still very much of a mind to experiment, Gnagy took Bluegrass from about three or four beers to something like 14. Leaving behind a fairly bountiful legacy, Gnagy left Bluegrass Brewing in 2008. And his next project found him alongside Brewer Sam Cruz and business partners Andrew Ott and Adam Watson, founding Louisville’s Against the Grain Brewery. It’s only natural that someone as adventurous with beer recipes as Gnagy would end up at Against the Grain, where beers are brewed according to general types and, once tapped (so to speak), are never again recreated.