Kirk Roberts


My passion for craft beer started with a trip to Oregon over 20 years ago. During the trip I tried just about every beer I could get my hands on. By the time I got back to California I was hooked.

I went searching for all the beer I could find. I also discovered that most of the great brewers started out as homebrewers so I thought I would give it a shot. My first few beers weren’t that great but I kept at it. Eventually I was making beers I was proud of, and I was having a lot of fun!

A few years later I realized I hated my job and needed a change. Someone once said to me "Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life." So I decided to make a career out of my passion for beer.

I hit it off with Julius Hummer, the brewmaster at Newport Beach Brewing Company, and a deal was made. I would help him with the grunt work at the brewery and he would teach me how to brew professionally. I helped him for about a year and then I found out he was leaving to start another brewery. I had gotten to know everyone at NBBC pretty well and they decided to take a chance on me.

I definitely had some growing pains at first but soon started to hit my stride. They gave me the latitude to experiment and try new things. I was there for over a decade and ended up winning several medals at the Great American Beer Festival, a national beer competition held every fall in Denver.

During my time in Newport, I developed a passion for barrel aged beers. I love the fact that they take time to develop and you don’t always know how the finished product will turn out. Even though we were a small brewpub we ended up getting quite the reputation for these beers.

I was very happy at Newport but I felt that I was ready for a change. I heard about a startup in San Diego. This was an opportunity to work in the mecca of craft brewing and develop a whole new set of recipes. I ended up doing a lot of different beers at The Beer Company. San Diego loves their IPA’s so I got to experiment with a lot of different hops. We didn’t have a set beer list so I kind of reverted back to my homebrew days. We did several one off beers. My highlight there was winning a gold medal at the GABF for The Manhattan Project, a barrel aged strong ale.

Eventually The Beer Company decided to focus more on being a sports bar than a brewery so we decided to part ways.

Fast forward a couple years and my wife and I decided to relocate. She wanted to move back to her native Texas and I was intrigued about the growing beer movement here.

I did a Skype session with Chuck and Jonathan and hit it off with them right away. I spent a weekend with them trying some great local beers and talking about our philosophies on brewing. I was excited to work with people who shared my passion for great beer!

My goal at Steam Theory is to have our customers try new beers. I want them to be able to try something new every time they are here.