Cory King

Owner & Brewer

Cory’s first love in the beverage industry was for wine, and that passion can be seen in his oak-aged beers at Side Project. He originally sought a career in winemaking, but he decided to start homebrewing after his brother-in-law introduced him to the craft. Discovering that experimentation with fermentation and interpretations of beer styles could be explored in the kitchen, he was hooked on brewing. Cory's first professional brewing job was with Perennial Artisan Ales, where he was lucky to be able to continue experimenting and start Side Project Brewing during his career there. His love for oak began with wine and is now his focus with all the beers at Side Project Brewing. Cory appreciates traveling with his wife and son to breweries, distilleries and wineries all over the world and learning as much as he possibly can.

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Karen King

Owner & Planner

Karen was introduced to the world of beer by her older brother Brian when he started homebrewing while they were students at Oklahoma State. After several big family homebrew days and many beer vacations to visit breweries across the country, she had decided on a career in beer. She has been fortunate to work for and learn from the incredible breweries Goose Island Beer Company, Perennial Artisan Ales and Deschutes Brewery. She loves to organize and drink De La Senne Taras Boulba and is happy to be putting both of those loves to good use at Side Project Brewing. If Karen isn’t spending time with her redheaded husband and son, she’s probably walking around The Side Project Cellar with notebooks and highlighters.

Brian Ivers

Brewer

Brian’s beer enlightenment began as he was completing his engineering degree at Oklahoma State. Even though he had amassed as many brewing books as engineering books, Brian began working as an engineer at Underwriters Laboratories in Chicago, but he harbored aspirations to make beer for a living. Eventually, Brian would work as a brewer for Goose Island, where he enjoyed applying an engineering mindset to the brewing process. One evening in 2012, he was sitting at the Goose Island Clybourn Pub reading his brother-in-law Cory’s business plan for a St. Louis brewery, when the manager Erica struck up a conversation. Four years later they would both quit their jobs, hike 1000+ miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and get married in the Smoky Mountains before moving to St. Louis. Brian also hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2010, and he's keeping his eye on the Continental Divide Trail!

Tommy Manning

Brewer

Tommy’s Great Uncle “Magic Jim” was a Brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch for about 30 years. So you could definitely say brewing runs in the Manning family! He worked as the Production Manager at local brewery Perennial Artisan Ales before joining the brewing team at Side Project Brewing. He enjoys being with his partner in crime & future wife Rachel and traveling to tropical destinations with plentiful tiki drinks. Tommy also likes to cook and hang out with his dogs while savoring a nice beer, bourbon or bottle of wine! 

Shae Smith

Side Project Cellar Manager

Shae is really into beer, whiskey, grilled cheese sandwiches and cats. But mostly cats. She grew up in a very small town in Illinois where beer choices were almost nonexistent. Her first sip of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale changed her world, and beer has been a huge part of her life ever since. She takes every day as a new learning experience full of new beers to try! When she’s not enjoying a beer or whiskey, she’s chugging La Croix, lying on the couch with her dog Panda, two cats Leia and Winston, and watching Harry Potter. (Seriously, she has a Harry Potter tattoo!)

Mackenzie Marks

Side Project Cellar & Brewery Tasting Room

Mackenzie got her start in the beer scene in New York City where she worked at The Cannibal Beer & Butcher. After her stint in NYC, she decided to come home and reclaim her title as the St. Louis beer guzzler. You'll often catch her riding her bike or scooter around beautiful South City, eating tacos or yelling a lot in her band The Bubbleheads. Start a conversation with her at The Side Project Cellar by quoting The Simpsons and you'll have won her heart forever. Cheers!

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Megan Knaus

Side Project Cellar & Brewery Tasting Room

Megan is a lifelong St. Louisian and devoted industry professional.  She first fell in love with wine as a restaurant manager maintaining a 3,000-bottle cellar, but she quickly realized all the magic that whiskey and beer had to offer. Megan is now excited to be immersed in the beer world at Side Project to expand her knowledge of the brewing and fermentation process. When she’s not smiling behind the bar at The Side Project Cellar, you might find her kayaking into the sunset along the Missouri River, cleaning her backyard chicken coop, navigating the Northampton streets with her pugs Skillet and Coconut or writing run-on sentences….

Rachel Manning

Brewery Tasting Room 

Rachel was born and raised here in St. Louis, and she has several years experience in fine dining. After working for some of the best chefs in St. Louis, Rachel found herself immersed in the beer community working for a local brewery called Perennial Artisan Ales as their Events Manager. It was then that she knew she was in love with everything the beer community had to offer! Speaking of love, she can’t wait to marry Tommy Manning, a Side Project Brewer, in Hawaii this May! Rachel adores beer, wine, bourbon, cheeseburgers, traveling, her friends, her family and her pups!

Erica Hylton Ivers

Brewery Tasting Room

Erica joined Side Project in 2016 shortly after moving to St. Louis with her husband Brian, a Side Project Brewer. They had been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail together and decided to finish their journey by getting married on the other side of the U.S. in the Smoky Mountains surrounded by their friends and family. Before her PCT expedition with Brian, Erica was working as a manager and bartender for the Goose Island Clybourn Pub in Chicago. She loves a good Scotch, a lively political discussion and hanging with her two cats Tags and Meanie. Oh, and try not to hold her love for the Chicago Cubs against her!

Chris Hoertel

Brewery Tasting Room

Chris is a Midwestern native. She was born in St. Louis, but she has spent most of her life in Southern Illinois. After a brief period in the Pacific Northwest and Chicago, she's back in her hometown of St. Louis, trying to chase her dreams and keep things creative. Chris loves being a part of the St. Louis restaurant & beverage community, where her love for beer, cocktails and wine is shared with so many other artistic minds, including the love of her life, Tim, and some of her closest friends whom she considers family. 

Troy Bedik

Brewery Tasting Room

Troy decided on a career in the St. Louis beer industry in 2012 after a long night on the iTAP patio with her mother and a really awesome bartender named Katie Herrera. Fast forward to the present, and she is now a brewer at The Civil Life Brewing Company. Being the overachiever that she is, a job at one incredible St. Louis brewery wasn't enough – she wanted to work for two! Troy was excited when that same friend Katie told her that Side Project Brewing was hiring! When she's not doing all things beer-related, she can be found hanging out with her favorite pup, Sirius, or mocking her fiance's miniature homebrewing equipment.

Tim Bottchen

Art Director & Photographer

Tim has been designing and photographing for global brands for a decade. He has full control of capturing & creating Side Project’s image from start to finish. He designs the elegant Side Project beer labels, takes all the professional Side Project photos and even designed our website. Tim also stays busy with his other clients in the beer industry, concert photography and a full-time photography career with an athletic company. He enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and two dogs in South City, but you'll often spot him at The Side Project Cellar with a beer in one hand and a camera in the other.