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Matthew Barbee

Rockmill Brewery
Matthew Barbee is the owner and brewer of Rockmill Brewery in Lancaster, Ohio and Rockmill Tavern in the Columbus’ Brewery District. His grandfather started a winery in Ohio when Matthew was a young boy, giving him his first glimpse at the fermentation process. Matthew later studied in Luxembourg as part of a college program. While there he began to travel throughout Western Europe and discovered how meals could be so much more than just eating, but a culinary journey when food and wine were thoughtfully paired. After college, this new passion for wine and fine cuisine brought him to Chicago where he trained with a sommelier at NoMi in Hyde Park and through private events along the Magnificent Mile he was exposed to some of the best wine brands in the world. After moving to Los Angeles, it was at Gjelina’s in Venice Beach that his life would forever change when he first tried a saison, a Belgian-inspired beer, paired with an arugula, burrata and grilled peach salad. Today, both saisons and a burrata dish are served at Rockmill Tavern. Barbee then returned to the 19th-century horse farm his mother owned outside Lancaster with every intention of building a brewery. With no previous background in the brewing sciences, Matthew began brewing and studying the art of farmhouse ale, a beer style developed in the Middle Ages in the French-speaking Wallonia region of Belgium. His approach was to instill as much structure and flavor into each beer as possible. He opened Rockmill Brewery in 2010 and in 2016 opened Rockmill Tavern, crafting the perfect menu to accompany his beers.

My Speakers Sessions

Monday, September 9

10:00am EDT