Brewer James "Nick" Nock of SweetWater Brewing Company - Biography
Head Brewer James “Nick” Nock had no formal training when he got into homebrewing, but one New Year’s he decided he wanted to get paid for it. He’s been with SweetWater ever since, joining the operation when it opened in 1996. Cooking and bartending throughout college, such was his love of beer that he wanted to work with it at any cost. He started with grunt work—dropping off and filling kegs, sweeping, cleaning, and doing whatever was necessary—and now runs the burgeoning operation.
Nock’s 50-gallon “dank tank” (decorated with various psychedelic, bra-wearing characters and artwork) is also a mini-laboratory for his more creative and crazy brews. SweetWater is already one of the top craft brewers in the Southeast in terms of volume (clocking in at 100,000 barrels a year), but Nock, brimming with confidence the way his beers brim with flavor, thinks that the brewery’s new expansion will allow them to one day top 400,000 barrels. Ask him what his favorite beer is, and he’ll say “it all depends on how I wake up. Sometimes I want something malty, sometimes I want something hoppy. If I’m out by the pool, I want something light.” If Nock is brewing, we’d be happy with one or all three.