Brewer Joey Pepper of Folksbier Brauerei - Biography

Brooklyn, NY

January 2019

After spending a few years at Boston University studying chemistry, biology, and mathematics, Joey Pepper felt lost. He had a hard time seeing how he would apply these fields to a fulfilling career. During his junior year he fell in love with craft beer, and while exploring different styles, discovered lambic. Enamored by the acidity and fermentation character from sip one, Pepper was hooked. Lambics conjured the flavors of lemons and Sour Patch Kids that he savored as a child.


Pepper dropped out of school in 2011 and began working as a barback at craft beer spot Pony Bar in Manhattan. When he read about the opening of Tørst, a beer bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, he knew he had to be part of the project and met with Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso, founder of both Tørst and Evil Twin Brewing. He was hired at Tørst as a barback, quickly rising to bartender and  taking on cellar organization and beer pairings for Luksus, the Michelin-star restaurant formerly located in the back of Tørst. During this time he collaborated with Sante Adairius and Evil Twin on a namesake beer, a Belgian blonde ale with white peppercorns (that after a year in barrels was dubbed and sold as Joey F**ing Pepper).


Pepper’s desire to start brewing professionally led him to Folksbier in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, in March 2017. He has been there ever since, working his way up to head brewer. Folksbier is currently upgrading their Carroll Gardens brewhouse and building a new facility in Red Hook dedicated to lager production.