Our Founder, Dr. Tripp Morgan, is a fifth generation Georgian who was raised surrounded by agriculture in the small town of Camilla. Although a surgeon by trade and owner of the local Albany Vascular Specialist Center, his heart returned him back to farming and his love for craft beer led him to pursue creating Albany’s very first craft brewery.
Tripp is proud to see the vision of Pretoria Fields come to fruition as a Collective of brewers, farmers, and tasting room field guides to serve this community. Through organic farming practices, he is ecstatic to be able to utilize the highest quality of ingredients and seasonal additions in Pretoria Fields beer. Balancing life as a father of four, a surgeon, and founder of a craft brewery means that Tripp may not have as much free time for fishing and hunting as he once did. But when he does get the opportunity to get out on the land, you might just find him enjoying time with his family, his dogs, and a fishing pole in his hand – oh and quite possibly a Skywater Golden Ale in the other.
Our Brewmaster Eric Kirchner traveled throughout the US as a bartender after college, honing his skills of hospitality, management, and perfecting the art of creating an exquisite beverage. He has worked in several breweries, and prior to moving to Albany, he had celebrated 10 years working for Russian River Brewing Company (7 years as Lead Brewer). Eric joined the Pretoria Fields Collective as our Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Operations after a kismet meeting at the Craft Brewer’s Conference.
Eric values meticulous brewing processes to consistently produce great tasting beer, and is inspired by our farmlands and the opportunity to grow much of our own organic input. In his free time you might find Eric immersing himself in books about water chemistry and yeast vitality, and more than likely, enjoying his reading with a Pretoria Fields Gose in hand.
Our manager, Billy Mann, was the President of Stewbo’s Group in Albany, which includes three restaurants, three event centers, a pub and a hotel. Billy has over 15 years in the hospitality and food service industry and 13 years of management experience. In addition to the wealth of knowledge that Billy brings to our team, he was born and raised in Albany and is a familiar face to all of our patrons.
He has completed his Hotel and Restaurant Management training from Albany Technical College, and has worked his way through nearly every position in the service and hospitality industry. It is a rare occurrence to see Billy without a genuine smile on his face, and his enthusiasm for great leadership is one of the reasons that the entire Pretoria Fields Collective enjoys staff meetings so much. On days off, you will most likely find Billy in a tie dye Grateful Dead shirt, spending time with this family and quite possibly sipping on a Skywater.
Our head brewer, Kevin, graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Hospitality and Management. While he managed a golf course in Maryland, his homebrewing hobby grew into a passion. He then picked up a bartending job at Craft Works which led to an apprenticeship in the brewery. After realizing that his interest in beer was not going away anytime soon, he sought out the opportunity to brew.
He accepted a position at Bluejacket Brewing in DC. This restaurant/brewery honed his understanding of how well beer compliments food. Kevin worked with multiple souring and wild yeast strains, as well as coolship practices in addition to the traditional ale production. After a couple of years in this fast-paced environment, Kevin learned about the slow-beer being made in Albany, GA. He will bring a little funk to the planned barrelhouse out on our farm. In his free time, Kevin is most likely to have his best four-legged friend, Clark, at his side enjoying a hike or a day of fishing. Kevin’s ideal way to celebrate a good catch or a great hike is a freshly poured Shoalie.
Any Father will tell you how proud it makes them to watch their child succeed in life. Dr. Harris has had the opportunity to watch his son, Tripp, succeed in multiple ventures in life. Most fathers will also tell you it’s a pleasure to work alongside of their children, and assist each other to accomplish common goals and visions. Harris is the Pretoria Fields Collective farm manager, overseeing the organic acreage which grows barley, wheat, hops and fruit for our brewery. He researches the best practices for efficient farming, harvesting, malting, and processing of our inputs.
He is currently working to develop more of the Pretoria Fields farmland with diverse fruits and crops to incorporate into seasonal beers. Harris meets weekly with our staff to discuss updates on the farm and relay information regarding harvesting plans. Living on the farm himself, he spends much of his free time walking the land and enjoys checking on the farm beehives. When he does venture off of the farm, he values every moment that he gets to spend with his children and his grandchildren. After a hard day of work, Harris will tell you that nothing tastes better than a Pretoria Fields Stout.
Our Marketing and Events Manager, Jennifer Harris, discovered her love of ancient alchemy and the art of fermentation in Sonoma County, CA. It was in Wine Country that she specialized in helping artisanal food and beverage brands tell their story, connect with their community and reach new clientele. Her background includes social media content creation, event planning, private club/buyer relationships, product consultation, as well as teaching fermentation and homebrewing classes.
In addition to cultivating a business to promote food and beverage brands, she is also the founder and producer of the US’s largest Fermentation Festival. When she’s not working, it’s likely that you’ll find Jennifer outdoors with her two dogs hiking and exploring, and chances are, she’ll enjoy a pint of Pretoria Fields Stout when the dogs are tired out.