Josh Brown is the Winemaker and Manager at Beans Creek Winery. Josh has been involved in the Winery from the very beginning, present on the day we poured our first cement. In the early years of the Winery, Josh began an apprenticeship of sorts with his father and our founder, Tom Brown. He was watching, learning and, of course, tasting. Josh took over as Winemaker in 2013 and Manager in 2015.
When asked about his progression of job responsibilities over the years, Josh had this to say:
“When we first opened, I had very little actual winemaking experience. With my dad making wine as a hobby at home, I would have to help him in the basement some. Most of that was heavy lifting (moving the carboys) or helping with bottling. When we opened the winery, I was basically the cellar rat – doing whatever I was told. After a few years I was managing the crush and harvest. I used to joke that I did all the work to get the juice for my dad to make the wine and he got all the credit! A few years went by, and I started doing some of the fermentation with guidance from my dad. Add a few more years, and I was doing it all, from grape to bottle. And now, I really do it all – from winemaking, managing, janitor and yard boy.”
Wine and winemaking was very new to Josh when he began at Beans Creek. While the wine industry was new to Josh, hard work was not. Because he was accustomed to working hard, he was able to learn both the science and the art behind wine making. According to Josh, everything he learned about wine, he learned from Tom. However, over the years he has also become active in the Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance (TFWA), continuing his education at the annual conference and sharing information with growers and wine makers from across the state. Josh also took the opportunity for some more structured learning through VESTA, an online grape and wine educational provider.
Beans Creek Winery is, in some ways, just like any other small family business. It has survived over the years due to the passion and commitment of a few people and the incredible support of a large family of customers. However, Josh feels like there are a few things that set us apart:
“One thing that is unique about us is that we are located on the main road to Bonnaroo. For one week out of the year, we have anywhere from 60-80 thousand people in our back yard. One thing that separates us from other wineries is our Sparkling Strawberry Wine. This sparkling wine is made from 100% strawberries. I don't know of anyone else that has that. And finally, our Apropos port style wine. We have won several prestigious awards for Apropos, including a Double Gold in 2013 at the Indy International Wine Competition. That means that every judge awarded it as a gold medal winner. It could be one of the best Port Style wines around.”
Josh is married to Dr. Susan Brown (a chiropractor in Tullahoma, TN) and has one son (Tucker, 13). Before working full-time at Beans Creek Winery, Josh served with the Manchester Fire Department for 13 years and also enjoyed some time on the Tour Guide staff at Jack Daniels Distillery. Similar to his father, Josh is a hobby basement brewmaster, supporter of agriculture, and proud operator of the family business. He is passionate about using an agricultural product grown right here in Tennessee to create something that people from all over the world can enjoy. Josh’s favorite Beans Creek wines are Traminette, an off-dry white, and Apropos, our sweet, port style wine.