Meet the Team
John started making cider commercially in 2012 after getting fed up with only finding apple-flavored glucose wine on the store shelves. He’d been making cider informally for the better part of his life and just wanted to make something available that was right with flavor and not sweet. He had every intention of keeping it a hobby, but one day he met Chip. And a few hazy drinking sessions later, they opened a tasting room in the Heights. As the Slopeswell cidermaker, he began exploring only small runs with interesting flavors and barrel-aged ciders using apples from his favorite orchard in Parkdale. But working with Chip and Kristyn, he’s found great pleasure in making more every day, modern-style ciders that avoid the perils of sweetness and still appeal to a wide crowd.
Chip has spent many years in the Columbia River Gorge after moving out West from Chicago, where he had a career in the stock exchange. He came to the cider world as a hobby enthusiast and always knew he also wanted to own a brewery. At the brewery and cidery, Chip takes care of sales, local delivery, and general hype about the beautifully fermented beverages. In addition to being a co-owner of Working Hands, he is a property manager and owner in Oregon.
Chip can be found at one of four places: at a brewery, exploring the country in his kitted-out Sprinter, on the water, or adventuring on the mountain. He and his wife have three children, an oldest son and identical twin daughters, whom all adore bombing around the outdoors just like him.
Wholesale Supervisor, Owner
Jon (JT) started working with Slopeswell Cider Company in 2016. At the time, he lived just a few blocks away from the taproom, so skipping down the road for a few ciders was both tempting and convenient. After seeing him so frequently, we offered him a job behind the bar and he accepted with little hesitation. After a few years pouring beer and cider for loyal customers, his role evolved into wholesale assistance, and he became an owner in 2020. When not at the taproom, you can catch him hanging with his family or, most likely, standing in the river, swinging flies for steelhead.
Head Brewer, Owner
Kasey was born and raised in the Columbia River Gorge. He is a microbiology junky, who grew up wanting to work in Sports Medicine. After a few years at Boise State and Oregon State, he decided that some of the people in the fermentation science programs were having a bit more fun. After one exploratory class he was hooked, and so began his brewing journey. After college, Kasey attended the Siebel Institute of Technology to continue his education and become a master at authentic lagers.
Kasey spent time at Ninkasi Brewing and a young brewery in Oregon before a three-year position as Head Brewer of Ferment Brewing Company in Hood River. While there he assisted in building a kombucha brand and brewery from the ground up. He has a side career in brewery consulting which has taken him to beautiful places throughout the country. Like many brewers, he always wanted to be his own boss and focus on the beers he is most passionate about lagers!
Outside of doing beer things, you can find Kasey with his pups, Friday and Sophie, on a beach, trampling around in the woods, crushing bass on the Columbia, barbecuing, building stuff, or catching a Packers or Beavers game.
General Manager, Owner
Kristyn (who goes by Fix) came to the cider world through a complicated path that wound through a two-decade career in the mental health field. While she was a fan of regional cider, it truly was her connection with this community and passion for event planning that landed her a role with us. To date, her position as Operations Manager remains the only full-time role at Slopeswell, although this will definitely change as the company grows into Working Hands Fermentation. Kristyn is a Certified Cider Professional and Portland International Cider Cup Judge. She lives with her little family in Hood River and is the host of the true life comedy podcast Thunder Thighs & Lightning.