About Willard’s Brewery
Brewed in Austin, Texas
Get to know us
Willard’s Brewery is made up of a group of dedicated artisans, blessed with a passion for well-crafted libations and good times. Named for our fearless leader and serial entrepreneur, Willard has enlisted the leadership of a lifelong brewer who has left a long-lasting impression on countless breweries over the last 13 years.
Dan Wheeler, Head Brewer
After home-brewing for over 15 years, Dan made a career out of a hobby. For the last 9 years he has brewed at multiple Austin area breweries. As Willard’s Brewery Head Brewer Dan is responsible for overseeing beer production process and day-to-day operations of the brewery.
George Garcia, Tap Room Manager and Director of Events
George Garcia wears many hats, predominantly Stetsons. George writes and produces music with a soulful voice, sick guitar licks, and funky bass lines. You may recognize him as the leading front man of local dance band Whiite Walls and Bass Player for ORTHY playing at Austin’s popular music venues: Spider house Ballroom, MOHAWK, Cheer Up Charlies, Whisler’s, Hotel Vegas, etc. You may also recognize George from working with his beautiful Wife and DJing weddings for her company 3 of cups Events. When he is not performing on stage or DJing your wedding, you can enjoy a drink or live show with George at Willard’s Brewery.
As the Tap Room manager and Director of Events for Willard’s Brewing He strives to bring joy to all patrons. If you are interested in booking your Live band, Comedy show, bachelor party, bachelorette party, Birthday party, Rehearsal dinner, Welcome party, Holiday Party, private event or Wedding. You can schedule a tour of the venue with George at George@willardsbrewery.com. With over 15 years of Serving this great city, with multiple Austin Staples. He takes pride in providing Austin and the surrounding areas with delicious products and a Hell of a good time!
Austin Crouch, Head Chef
Austin was raised in Coppell, TX, a small suburb of Dallas, but has lived in Austin long enough to call it home. Aspiring musician turned chef, Austin spent much of his time growing up in the kitchen watching his mother cook. Her influence inspired his love for bold flavors and graceful presentation. Austin has spent several years now building and honing his expertise and has worked under a number of strong chefs whose credentials range from New York to Napa. When not in the kitchen you’ll find him gardening, grilling, and spending time with his wife and dog.
Kiki Whatley, Brewing Specialist
Kiki Whatley started her craft brewing career in the packaging and cellar departments of Independence Brewing Co in south Austin back in 2014 and brewing at the brewhouse at Flix Brewhouse in Round Rock in 2016 almost contiguously, working alongside with head and lead brewers creating delicious GABF, World Beer Cup and Best of Craft Beer award-winning craft beer recipes in the Central Austin craft beer scene. She is a Certified Beer Server through the Cicerone Program and has completed the Master Brewers Association of American Malting and Brewing Science Course at the University of Madison Wisconsin. Her love for craft beverages doesn’t stop at just beer as she is currently one of the brewers brewing organic craft hard seltzers and craft beers at Willards Brewery in Pflugerville TX.
Ryan Shramek, Brewing Manager
Ryan Shramek is a long time appreciator of craft beer and home brewing since his uncle, a 40-year homebrewer, introduced it to him. Ryan has 15+ years in production and operations management with his most recent employment as a packaging manager at Alamo Beer Co. in San Antonio, TX. As an Austin Native, Ryan is excited to get back to the city he is from and take on his role at Willard's Brewery. As manager of brewing, Ryan's focus has always been efficiency and elevating the quality standards while also acting as a "coach" to make sure the entire team shares the knowledge, skills, and resources to make world class beer and seltzers.
Ricky Cobia, Creative & Beverage Director
Ricky Cobia, well-known in the Austin area for his mixology work, has used his background to create unique and delicious flavors for Big Country Hard Seltzer. For the last 6 years, Ricky has been awarded for his success running beverage programs. For the last two years, he has directed Austin’s top speakeasy, Watertrade, where he was nominated as Bartender of the Year twice, as well as being named one of Bombay Saphire’s Top 100 Bartenders in the World.