Q&A: Meet the Brewers at Peter B’s Brewpub

Q&A: Meet the Brewers at Peter B’s Brewpub

Did you know that the Portola Hotel & Spa is also home to Monterey, California’s original craft brewery, Peter B’s Brewpub? Operating since 1996, Peter B’s is regarded as one of the best breweries in Monterey, boasting award winning, house made craft beers. The extensive beer menu at Peter B’s is curated by Head Brewer, Justin Rivard with the help of Assistant Brewer, Natalie Mika. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Justin and Natalie and learn a bit more about their backgrounds and brewing philosophies.

Meet the Brewers

What inspired you to start brewing?

Justin: I started brewing simply because I thought it was cool and loved the variety of beer that was out there. I think after trying different styles, I thought it’d be cool to make them.

Natalie: I’m inspired by the yeast! I have a fermentation science background and used to work in the wine industry; yeast is a magical organism and that is for sure, what helped me get into brewing.

What makes a good beer?

Justin: For me, it’s drinkability and balance but also creativity. I’ve tasted some really cool beers that were interesting ideas- like a beer that tasted like Gardettos. However, beer that I can drink a few of is a job well done. What separates good beer from great beer is complexity and subtlety… the more you taste it, the more you notice different aspects of it.

Natalie: Cleanliness is what makes good beer. Good beer can’t exist without good sanitation!

Natalie Mika

What’s your funniest memory in the brewery?

Justin: Probably the people watching aspect… spraying kids, or servers or managers with hose while I’m brewing always gets a good laugh… (there is glass between us).

Natalie: Funniest memory has got to be Pub Talk at Peter B’s. The people are great and super funny. It’s guaranteed you’re going to laugh if you hang out at Pub Talk on KRML at Peter B’s.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Justin: Pretty sure I wanted to be a doctor.

Natalie: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Chef (and then I learned what the hours are if you’re a successful chef…), So now I just cook at home and love to throw dinner parties with friends and family.

Justin Rivard


What’s the first type/style of beer you try when visiting another brewery?

Justin: That’s a hard question. It depends on how I feel, but also if I know anything about that brewery. If they’re known for their stouts for example, then I have a stout. If I’m trying to judge their technical skill, I’ll either have a lager or a Hazy IPA.

Natalie: The first beer I try at another brewery depends on the brewery, but I’ll usually try a wheat beer if they have it.

Meet the Brewers

Learn more about Peter B’s at www.peterbsbrewpub.com.

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