The seed for Urban South was planted during the year I spent in Europe. Tasting Belgian and English ales and German lagers right from the source, I understood for the first time how big the chasm was between the beer my ancestors drank and the mass-market stuff I grew up with at home in South Louisiana. Naturally, as a good Cajun and Southerner, I knew I had to share the gospel of good beer.
At Urban South, we’re combining the heritage of European beer making with the brashness of new American styles. That mixture of cultural legacy and bold innovation is why New Orleans was the perfect place to take root. We opened our New Orleans production facility and taproom in 2016. In February 2020, we opened an R&D brewery and taproom in Houston where we'll focus on pushing the boundaries of American beer.
Our company's mission is to inspire community and fellowship through the gospel of good beer. We operate with fearlessness and integrity in an effort to brew the South’s most respected beer. Our vision is to build an enduring company that embodies the values and traditions of the Urban South. We seek to be strong community partners and produce world-class beer.
Founder & President
Jacob is a Cajun from Southwest Louisiana who developed a passion for craft beer while living in Europe during college. He worked in education, first as a teacher and later in management where he oversaw strategy for Louisiana's largest school district. Jacob holds undergraduate degrees from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Tulane University.
Co-Founder & Vice President
Kyle brings 10 years of experience in beer distribution, most recently as the founder of the Louisiana Craft Beer team at Southern Eagle – a unit focused on building the craft beer portfolio for the distributor. Huling is a lifelong New Orleanian with a degree from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Loyola University.
Human Resources Manager
Courtney is from South Carolina and graduated with a Political Science degree from Furman University and a Masters in Teaching from the University of Hawaii. She worked with Teach For America for five years and then spent seven years with the ReNEW Charter Schools network in New Orleans overseeing literacy programs and building six school libraries. as mom to four New Orleans-born children, she’s an advocate for child friendly breweries!
A native of southern England, Oliver’s first brewing experience came in the New Orleanian kitchen of a friend. He spent a number of years working at local homebrew shop Brewstock, and fermenting kombucha at Big Easy Bucha. Oliver holds a degree in computer science and is an accomplished paraglider pilot, with only one injurious crash in his logbook.
Murphy was born in Loranger, LA and grew up there on a 20-acre blueberry farm. After studying communications at Loyola, he worked first at his family-owned Berry Hill Farm before joining the Urban South team in early 2017. His passions include farming, porch sitting, and Catan playing.
Alex is a New Orleans native, after attending LSU he moved to San Diego, CA to pursue a career in craft beer. He brewed at Manzanita Brewing and Mission Brewery before moving back to New Orleans in 2014. He was the Director of Funk at NOLA Brewing and earned a silver medal in the Brett beer category at the World Beer Cup in 2016. He completed the SDSU Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer and the Siebel Institute Concise Course in Brewing Technology. Alex enjoys running and has a love hate relationship with the Saints!
Eric Epps hails from Rochester, NY. A sucker for pain, he is a die hard Buffalo sports fan. He attended college at Kent State and finished his college education at a film school in Orlando, FL, where he met his wife, Max. Eric fell in love with the craft beer industry while working at Pyramid Brewery before being hired at Carolina Brewery as a cellarman and eventually becoming the lead brewer of their Chapel Hill location. Most recently Eric worked for Abita Brewing Company before joining the USB team. Eric is a proud father to Henry.
Julie is a New Orleans native who graduated from UNO. She started in the brewing industry at Abita as a trainee and worked her way up to head brewer. She recently was part of the NOLA Brewing team, working as a brewer and lead cellar. In 2018, she won a trip to Germany and was able to fulfill a dream of going to Octoberfest in Munich. Julie loves spending time on the water and cheering on the Tigers and Saints with her partner Marisa and their two dogs, Nola and Beaux.
KJ Hebert grew up in Cut Off, LA. He went to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and graduated with a Computer Information Systems and Business Administration degree. He started working in restaurants in college and has been there ever since, with twelve of those years at Chilis. He is a homebrewer and huge craft beer supporter. He has participated in obstacle course racing for the last five years and is about to finish building a forge. KJ and his wife have four kids. As a family, they like camping, board games, movies and music.
Indy is originally from Indiana, but has lived all over. He started home brewing while living in Seattle. In Mobile, AL, he worked at The Cannon Brew Pub as a bar manager/assistant brewer. He has worked at NOLA Brewing in the cellar. He returned to Indianapolis and worked at Fountain Square Brewing Co and was promoted to Head Brewer, taking over operations at New Day Craft Mead & Cider as well. Indy has completed the WBA Concise Course in Brewing Technology. He is happily married to his fantastic wife, Traci and has two spectacular step kids, as well as a dog & two cats. When not brewing, Indy loves cooking, smoking BBQ, & fishing if I wake up early enough.
Colin is the youngest of three from an Irish family that is now spread across the nation. He was born and raised in a sleepy Southern California beach town, moved to San Francisco as a teen, where he began his brewery career at Anchor Brewing. He worked at Local Brewing before moving to San Diego and working at Modern Times Beer, where he worked in the QAQC laboratory. Fun fact about Colin: as a choir kid, he had the privilege of singing at Carnegie Hall twice.
Sales & Marketing Manager
Massachusetts born, and Nola made, Abby Perkins leads the Sales and Marketing team at Urban South. Upon graduating Loyola she decided to make New Orleans her home putting her public relations degree to use in the emerging craft beer scene. When she’s not at a beer dinner or promo event, Abby practices the penny whistle and aims to perfect her Cher impression.
Key Accounts Manager
Shane Stouder is from New Orleans, having grown up in the Kenner/ Metairie area. He has a BA in English from UNO. Shane has extensive experience in wholesaler distribution having worked for our largest distributor, Southern Eagle for the past 11 years. He held multiple positions specializing in both On and Off Premise Sales, Category Management, Craft brand development and Key Account Chain Management. He is married to Mary and father to 3 year old Luke and 1 year old Scarlett.
Sales and Marketing Representative
Anna was born in San Diego, California and lived in Arizona, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Ireland before finally settling in Florida where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from UCF. After discovering her love of craft beer in college, Anna started working for a bar franchise teaching beer education and training classes. In 2015, she moved to New Orleans and immediately knew she wanted to make NOLA home. When not promoting new beers, you can find Anna at home snuggling her pup.
New Orleans Sales Representative
John Michael was born and raised in Louisiana. After graduating from LSU (Geaux Tigers!) in 2017, he moved to New Orleans where he eventually began his career with Urban South as a Packaging Operator, before landing his recent role on the sales team.. When John Michael isn't working, he's with his pup in city park, playing disc golf, grilling or watching a movie.
West Louisiana Sales Representative
Nick Letendre is from Ruston, Louisiana. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2017 with a degree in Sports Marketing. After graduating, he moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area where he worked as a sales rep selling rifle scopes and outdoor equipment. His territory included the entire western half of the United States which provided him the opportunity to explore a wide variety of craft beer breweries. He grew up in a military family. His Dad is a career soldier; mom is a schoolteacher and has two brothers. He also loves live music, sports and being in the outdoors.
Brittany Huling was born and raised in the greater New Orleans area and went to LSU (where she met Kyle) and graduated with a degree in Interior Design. She worked as an interior designer for 6 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom of twin girls. In 2013 she began an invitation and stationery business on Etsy, which gradually expanded into logo design and graphic design work for a variety of different types of businesses, including Urban South. She now designs the taproom release beer labels and marketing material.
Rob was born in Denver, Colorado. He studied biochemistry at the University of Montana but left to pursue a career in music as a drummer in Austin, TX. He honed his skills and passion for craft brewing at Austin Beerworks as a packager, cellarman, and brewer. He moved to Louisiana to take a brewer position at Abita Brewing until he discovered Urban South. Outside of the brewery he enjoys being a father, traveling, cooking, and wood working.
Assistant Packaging Manager
Phil Guffa was born in Elmhurst, IL and grew up in the Chicago area. He is a Retired Air Force Veteran, and spent most of his years of service in Europe and overseas. His wife, Kris, is from Louisiana. They have 3 kids, 1 grandchild, and many pets (2 dogs, 3 cats & a snake). After traveling the world, they always knew they wanted to live in New Orleans, and 3 years ago they finally made that move. In the Air Force, Phil worked in AMMO (Munitions Handler) and later as a Recruiter. His experience has allowed him to do lots of different jobs, from equipment operator to financial advisor. As a longtime craft beer fan, he's excited for this chance to work in the industry.
Ryan Ulicsni was born and raised in Destrehan, LA. He went to Destrehan High School. For ten years, he swam competitively for multiple organizations. Ryan previously worked in IT and left to pursue a dream of working in brewing. An interesting fact about Ryan: he can solve a Rubik’s cube in about 45 seconds.
Midge Howe is a proud Gamecock Alumni. After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Sport and Entertainment Management, she couldn’t stay away from her two loves, beer and New Orleans. When Midge is not working she loves spending time with her rescue dogs and exploring all New Orleans has to offer.
Shane Gibson is from all over TX but calls Austin home. Hook ‘em! He met and married his West TX, barrel-racer wife, Kim, of 17 years there, but, shortly afterwards, moved to St. Louis to attend seminary where he received his Masters of Divinity. Shane graduated in ’07 and moved to New Orleans to be the disaster relief coordinator for a Presbyterian church in Uptown. A year later he was ordained and became the assistant/associate pastor until 2015 when he left and started another Presbyterian church in Mid-City, St. Peter's Presbyterian, where he is currently still the pastor. Shane and Kim have 4 children, Adison, Deacon, George and Jude.
Tyrē was born and raised in New Orleans and then spent several years in Lafayette for college. Tyre is proud of his quirky work history which includes, but is not limited to, parking cars at the airport, serving poboys to the elderly, and making poke. He's now excited to explore the world of craft beer. Tyrē lives for romance movies and the 2014 movie Paddington.
Max is originally from Evanston, Illinois. He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science and a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish from Loyola University in New Orleans. His passion is sculpture, primarily working in glass and steel.
Bartender and Packaging Team Member
Abbey grew up in Marine City, MI and has her Associates Degree in Science & Theraputic Massage. Abbey moved to New Orleans in 2007 to escape the cold & frigid Michigan winters. In 2013 she graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies focused in Cultural & Behavioral Studies. Abbey loves to travel and experience other cultures.
Bartender and Packaging Team Member
Matt Thomas is a native of Baton Rouge where he earned his eagle scout and worked for a small music venue until he moved to New Orleans in 2010 where he received his bachelor's in biology from UNO and climbed the ladder in the service industry until coming to work for Urban South. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cyclist, enjoys live music and getting lost in the woods!
Amanda Ory was born and raised in New Orleans. Since graduating from UNO, she’s lived in Boston, Dallas, and Orlando. In 2016, she moved back home to NOLA with her wife, Sarah. After 20 years of retail management, she turned her passion for craft beer into a new career! Amanda loves traveling, snuggling her Boston Terriers, Clark and Mr. Boddy, and rooting on the Saints, Tigers, and Orlando City SC!
Taproom Operations Manager
Amber Gunn was born and raised on the Westbank of New Orleans. She attended LSU in Baton Rouge and earned a BA degree in Dental Hygiene from the LSU school of Dentistry in New Orleans. After working for 13 years as a Hygienist she and her husband, Brad, started New Orleans Brews Cruise, a local brewery tour, and ran tours around the city and on the North Shore for a year and a half before selling to pursue other interests in the craft beer industry. They love to spend time with their two cute pups, Abita and Nola and to travel in search of all the great beer in the world!
General Manager & Brewer
Dave brings 17 years of brewing experience from Saw Works Brewing in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Whole Foods Market Brewing and B52 Brewing in the Houston area. Ohmer’s brewing interests include experimenting with various processes to enhance or balance flavors and applying new ingredients to all styles of beer.
Research & Development Brewer
Justin arrives at Urban South with seven years of experience from Ghost River Brewing in Memphis, Tennessee, & B52 Brewing. He will help formulate new recipes for various styles, maintain the cellar and direct packaging.
JJ is brand new to the brewing industry, but has been loving every second of it! He’s originally from Cincinnati, OH but has been living in Houston for the past three years. He is an artist and former high school art teacher who loves traveling and has been to all 50 states.
Angela started with a nerdy fascination for all things bacteria which propelled her to a degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry from Texas State. After dabbling in the wine, research, and then medicine, she was ultimately captivated by the meld of creativity and perpetual growth that exists in the craft beer industry. Her interest became an obsession when she started at B52 Brewing. She couldn’t imagine working anywhere else to make the most insane and tastiest beer than here at Urban South Brewing-HTX. Cheers to the next beer!
Production Team Member
Nico is HTX born and raised. He has been a part of Houston’s Amazingly Awesome Craft Beer Scene for 10+ years. “Act a fool with it.” Lets get it!
Bartender and Inventory Lead
With over 10 years of Houston craft beer experience Evan has a massive appreciation for all things craft beer! His hobbies include music & film production, bass guitar, dogs and shotgunning delicious beer!
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