Josh McCombs brews with science!
- by Pleepleus :)
Josh McCombs obtained a BS in Biology from Penn State and an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University. After graduation, he utilized his degrees managing an environmental laboratory that analyzed air and water samples. He was making a good living. Then he received a gift that would change all of that. It was a Mr. Beer home-brew kit.
Setting up in his kitchen, where many brewers get their start, Josh brewed his first beer. He cooked up a cherry brown ale, that was “surprisingly not that bad”, shared it with his friends, and was encouraged to keep brewing. With support from his friends and family, and a passion for making beer, his hobby quickly outgrew the kitchen and he set up new brewing equipment in his garage. Shortly thereafter his garage was filled to the brim with brewing equipment making several batches simultaneously.
Eventually, Josh knew he had to make a decision. He could continue with the stability of his day job, where he watched the clock, eager to get home to brew in his garage. Or, he could go all-in on something he clearly loved. It seems like an easy decision, but as we know, change is difficult. With the support of his wife, Josh made the decision to leave his job. He enrolled in the Siebel Institute where he began his brewing education in Chicago and concluded it in Germany as a Master Brewer.
Today, Josh is the always-smiling head brewer for Lawless Brewing in North Hollywood where he runs around like a mad scientist, creating a wide array of creative and delicious beers. He’s joined at the brewery every day by his wife, Jackie, who runs the brewery, and their dog Franklin, who rules the floor. Try and walk by him without saying hi. You can’t!
Every week at pleepleus, we celebrate a beverage professional who inspires their community. Josh, like many brewers, took a chance on something that he loved, rather than continuing down a path that he felt that he was obligated to follow. As we all know, it takes courage to leave the comfort and stability of a “normal” job. And it doesn’t hurt having a supportive wife!
Josh and Jackie McCombs are partners with Ben and Whitney Lawless in North Hollywoods oldest brewery. It’s also undeniably the best brewery in North Hollywood, the most beautiful brewery in North Hollywood, and the only brewery in North Hollywood. If you’re ever in the area, stop by Lawless and have a pint, and try not to fall in love with Franklin!
Cheers, Josh! We’re glad you followed your heart. Your beer is fantastic!