Our Team

 

 

Ours is a labor of love.  The GG team is passionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated to sharing an extraordinary experience with you.

 

 
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Mike Brandt - Owner / Brewmaster / Winemaker
 

Award winning brewer and winemaker Mike Brandt has an obsession with brewing and fermentation sciences. He has fanatically researched the art and science of making wine, cider, mead, and great beer.  He is fanatical about Garden Grove's ingredients.  Many of Garden Grove's ingredients are grown at Brandt's Urban Garden.


Mike began his professional career as an Assistant Brewer at Calhoun’s Brewery in Harrisonburg, VA. After his time there he moved through the ranks of the Virginia wine industry to emerge as Head Winemaker and Viticulturist at Naked Mountain Winery and Assistant Winemaker at Linden Vineyards. He continued to dig deeper into the sciences earning an M.S. Environmental Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and as an agricultural research scientist at Virginia State University (VSU).


His research has focused on organic viticulture of wine grape varietals and malting of sorghum varieties for beer production. He has traveled across the United States, Belgium, England, and France to delve into the methods and beverages of the world’s great brewers. Since 1998 Mike has been brewing, always integrating his broad tastes and skill sets into his methods and recipes.

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Ryan Mitchell- Owner / Business Manager
 

Ryan Mitchell is a native to Mechanicsville, VA. Ryan has always had a passion for craft beer and knack for starting a business. Ryan obtained a Psychology Degree from VCU and worked in Corporate America before setting his sights on the craft beer industry. He did research in Europe, the UK, and in the United States to hone in on some of the best crafted beers on the market.

In March of 2013 Ryan stepped out of his Corporate America job to focus on creating a unique brewery in Richmond. After many months of searching for the perfect brewer he turned to Probrewer.com to post the job. After a hundred submissions Ryan found Mike. Mike invited Ryan to his home to meet his family and try a plethora of well crafted beers. After trying Mike’s Saison the rest would become History.


Ryan is married with two children and two dogs. You can always catch Ryan at a Flying Squirrels Game in the summer. He is an avid traveler of the world, dedicated fan of his daughter’s dance competitions, and always on the search for delicious craft beer.


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Andrew

Born at a very young age and an especially gifted napper and googler, Andrew also enjoys completely useless trivia and other things that are also things. Known to pour a beer here and there. Pro Tip: How to Survive a Wolf Attack: Throw a stick or something. Or tell it to sit. Never seen a wolf actually.

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Rachael

Rachael comes to us from the far away land of Florida and is Garden Grove's resident agent of chaos. When she's not pouring beer and breaking glasses you can find her at her STEM job teaching kids how to build things from wooden stools to robots. She is an avid maker, gardener, tapophile, and cryptozoology enthusiast. As well and being a devoted cat mom, Rachael is also in a long term committed relationship with Taco Bell. Bring her only your dankest memes, as working with teenagers has set her standards very very high.

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Chris

Chris is currently soul searching. Looking for the right words to describe who he really is.
 


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SAVanah

Coming from small town/city Harrisonburg, VA, Savanah moved to Richmond a little over a year ago to seek out more opportunities in culture, work, and the city. Savanah enjoys the outdoors, coffee and beer (whichever appropriately comes first). Don’t let her size fool you, she will still give you the respectable amount of sass while handling your beverage. Savanah yearns to continue to learn about anything and everything and strives to be open minded with all opinions. With a little ways to go, Savanah aspires to be an esthetician so anyone who loves talking skin care, come grab a cold one from this girl.
 

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Aidan

Aidan Henn comes to us from various former residences in far flung foreign lands and regrettably also Northern Virginia, as the newest and tallest member of our staff. Often seen twirling his robber baron moustache before washing his hands and returning to work, he will share with you a staggering body of knowledge concerning craft beers and spirits, cocktails, food, board games, Dad jokes, science fiction, comic books, and cycling. He can often be found designing rockets and exploring the galaxy, plying his skills at spell-craft, and battling neon paint strewn insurgencies all from the comfort of his computer chair while pursuing a degree from VCU in Business Information Systems.