Necromancer Brewing Gets Closer to Production as they Onboard Assistant Brewer, Michael Orellano

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Michael Orellano, or as you probably know him simply as, “Mikey” is the second addition to the Necromancer Brewing team, following behind Lauren Hughes, the highly anticipated brewery’s Head Brewer.

Mikey, as I’ll refer to him from here on out, is handsdown, my best beer bud in the city. We co-managed the taproom at Hitchhiker’s Sharpsburg location and now he has set out on a new career path and I, along with so many others in the Pittsburgh craft beer scene, are rootin’ for Mikey Beer Boi Helper all the way. Sure, I stick to the confinement of the topic, Women in Craft Beer, but felt it was absolutely necessary to highlight my dude!

Mikey, originally from Queens, NYC, has been a Yinzer for over a decade, where he lives with his fiancee, Maggie and their 2 1/2 year old daughter, Mora.

A throwback of Mikey with daughter, Mora, at one of the brewery’s that inspires him:
Tired Hands.
Photo courtesy and property of @yeastytaughtme

His first job as a bartender was at the dearly departed Hambones of Lawrenceville (RIP). But it wasnt until he started at Bierport in Lawrenceville as Bartender and Outreach Coordinator that his career in craft beer really took off. After 7 years at Bierport, he became Taproom Manager at Hitchhiker Brewing in Sharpsburg, with yours truly.

“I’m scared to approach a new position I’ve never been in before. But I know, if it’s not a bit of a struggle, it wont be worth while. Any time I’ve went in on a new position, I’ve come out better on the other side.”

Mikey, to our combined knowledge, is the only Latino person that is an active Assistant Brewer in the city of Pittsburgh. “I’m excited to do the work. Visibility is so important and I’m happy to be there for it. I hope people see more Latinos working in ‘Back of House’ making stuff, and will drum up more interest in Craft Beer in general.” Mikey joins Lauren, who is currently the only Queer Female Head Brewer in the city and surrounding area.

Together, the pair, along with several others, are founding members of the Pittsburgh Brewery Diversity Council, whose focus is to make Craft Beer vibrant and exciting for everyone. The members comprise of peoples from different age, racial backgrounds, and sexual orientations, as a way to represent all voices of marginalized peoples. (Be sure to follow them on Instagram.)

Mikey doing his best not to geek the f*** out, while chattin’ with Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery’s Head Brew Master at Fresh Fest 2019.
Photo courtesy and property of @yeastytaughtme

Necromancer Brewing is dedicated to resurrecting older beer styles, but not completely shunning current styles. So, I had to ask, what will be Mikey’s first choice of beer to brew when given the chance? Of course, he wants to brew all of the beers that fall into the older style category, which totally makes him Necromancer material. But if he had to pick, “a hoppy India Brown Ale. It’s a ‘new dead’ style. First it was hot, then it died off.” Mikey shouts out to Southern Tier’s 2x IBA, citing that it was a “fantastic beer!”

He also hopes to put some current twists on older styles, “and that’s not me dumping milk sugar into everything.” He plans to reinvent older styles, “like, how do you make a Doppelbock fun?” We love to see those gears turning and can’t wait to see what their team comes up with!

The breweries that inspire Mikey are Tired Hands, Jester King, Threes Brewing and TRVE. “I’d love to make sours like them, with delicate little notes.”

Mikey concludes with, “Support your local businesses, buy Necromancer, and Western PA, drink more Saisons.”

* Congrats, Mikey brew-boi helper, you’re gonna KILL it at Necromancer! *

Follow Mikey’s Beer ‘gram @yeastytaughtme – Follow Necromancer Brewing on Instagram

Featured image courtesy and property of Necromancer Brewing

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