Our Team

The Rock Cut team shares a common goal of providing the most exceptional experiences possible for our guests. We consider ourselves part of a family and hope you will, too! If there is anything about your time with us that could use improvement, please let any team member know or email our management team at email@rockcutbrewing.com. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us and we hope you’ll help us as we continually strive for excellence.

Meet our team below!

Matt Heiser, Co-Owner
After working in architecture and engineering for 15 years, I brought my artistic and technical approach to beer. The ability to craft something new, to refine it over time and then to share it with our customers is what drives me to be a brewer and keep Rock Cut beer innovative and fresh. While we started with (and still have) a beer first approach, seeing the community and camaraderie of our taproom is a big part of what inspires me to improve and elevate everything that we do.
How’d you get to Estes Park?
I grew up with a love of the outdoors and the mountains. Estes is an ideal basecamp for adventures and exploration in the Rockies, but how did I get here specifically over someplace else out west? – Tracy. We became good friends in college and as I looked for where to go next, having him out here made it an easy choice.
What’s your favorite thing about the area?
The outdoors always. But I’ve been here 20 years now, and it’s the friends I’ve made here, the community and the small town feel of Estes that have made it my home.
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut?
If you know me, then you realize this question doesn’t really apply. On those rare days though, I treasure time away with my wife, hiking or fishing in Rocky, and of course getting out to see what the rest of the Colorado Craft scene has to offer.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beer?
They’re all my children, but luckily they don’t have feelings, so… from our standard lineup, the Tyndall Porter was the second beer we brewed and has been at the top of my list from the start. I do really enjoy our cellar program though and there have been so many one-off beers that have come from barrels that I have trouble narrowing it down. Our first ever barrel-aged smoked beer was fabulous; the Funky Portal (brett IPA) always stands out for me; and we have a few sours still in barrels that I like so much it’s hard to hold back and not serve them right away – I just know they’re still getting better every day.

Tracy Goodemote, Co-Owner
I grew up in a small town in upstate New York. Immediately after high school I moved to Estes Park, so you could say I got here as soon as I could. However, growing up there gave me a love for living in a small community, which Estes Park provides. I met my wife here in Estes Park, and we have established a family with three children. I’ve owned two previous business in Estes Park, including a camera store and candy store. I started brewing with Matthew in my garage about 7 years before we started Rock Cut.
How’d you get to Estes Park?
I first arrived in Estes with my family in 1993. Shortly thereafter, in 1994, my family moved here from upstate New York. Except for a few years away at college, I’ve been here ever since. Estes Park is a great place to work, live, and raise a family!
What’s your favorite thing about the area?
Estes Park has a wonderful small-town feel with lots of great restaurants, amenities and events due to our summer tourist traffic. In addition, being so close to the front range allows for sporting events, shopping and culture. And of course the outdoor opportunities that being close to Rocky Mountain National Park provides. It’s a great small-town community with a wealth of opportunities.
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut?
When am I not at Rock Cut? On those rare occasions, I love spending time with my beautiful wife and three children. We both have extended family across the front range, so we take frequent trips down to visit.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beer?
The best thing about Rock Cut beer is that we brew beer that we like to drink. So picking just one is unneeded. Among others, I love the Galactic Portal, the Altruism, the Chaos Canyon Stout and the Enos Pils. And our course all of our specialty beers and barrel releases. Why bother just picking one?

Kirby Hazelton, Marketing & Events
How’d you get to Estes Park? Originally from Chicago,I’ve been coming to Estes since I was really little; in fact, I even took my first steps in Glacier Basin Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park. I completed my undergrad at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, then stayed in Colorado Springs and Denver for a couple of years before moving up to Estes in 2011. I wanted to give small, mountain town living a shot and I’m still here, seven years later. I love it.
What’s your favorite thing about the areaBeing surrounded by nature…nothing beats it. In five minutes I can be at a hiking trail for a quick lunch break or after work adventure. What could be better than that?
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut? Hike, hang out with my awesome family and friends, rescue dogs, and of course, visit Colorado craft breweries with my husband and Rock Cut brewer, Jordan.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beerOur first round of Wooden Buffalo still sticks in my mind; I love just about anything from our cellar program. For every day drinking I’ll head for the Galactic Portal.

Jordan Hazelton, Brewer
How’d you get to Estes Park? My family had visited Estes Park for several years before deciding to move here in 1999. I have grown up in Estes and absolutely love this place. It’s a small town for sure, but my wife (Kirby) and I really enjoy living here.
What’s your favorite thing about the areaOf course it would have to be the mountains. I also love how close and accessible Estes is to the rest of the Colorado craft beer scene. Northern Colorado is producing some of the best beer in the country right now.
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut? What does it mean to not be at Rock Cut? I don’t understand… I hike, frolf, run, play video games, hang out with family and friends, and quality check as much craft beer as possible.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beer? Anything that’s barrel-aged. Working on our cellar program is one of my favorite parts about my job — we are doing some really cool and innovative things in barrels. 

Sam Stone, Brewer
How’d you get to Estes Park? I was a student of the Fermentation Sciences program at Colorado State University and was offered a summer internship brewing at Rock Cut. When the summer came to an end I was offered a full time position post-graduation and accepted.
What’s your favorite thing about the area? Beautiful mountains, vibrant craft beer scene and abundance of wildlife.
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut? When I’m not at work, I enjoy taking long sunset walks on the shores of Lake Estes and hiking the majestic peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beer? Wooden Raven.

 

 

Ryan Nickerson, Sales & Beertender
How’d you get to Estes Park? I originally came to Colorado (from Des Moines, Iowa) to work for a larger soda company. When the job fell through I knew that I wanted to work in the craft brewing industry. One day in March of last year I came up to Estes to hike and to check out Rock Cut, and I left the taproom wanting to be part of the business. After bugging Matt and Tracy for a month (or so) they finally gave in, and a year later I couldn’t be happier!
What’s your favorite thing about the area? Being able to wake up and see the Rockies every morning never gets old. Also, since it’s a small community you get to see so many familiar faces around town and in the taproom!
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut? I love to get out and hike (surprise!) as well as camp. Getting on my road bike and relaxing with friends are also favorite activities of mine.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beer? It depends on the season but Wooden Raven/Funky Portal.

Laura Shepard, Merchandise & Marketing, Beertender
How’d you get to Estes Park? After graduating college in Wisconsin, the Rocky Mountains (which I had never actually seen in person before) were calling to me.  I guess you could say I listened. I luckily found a year-round job in Estes Park and have no plans on ever leaving!
What’s your favorite thing about the areaMountains (duh…I come from central Wisconsin where they call a 100ft hill a “mountain”).  Being five minutes away from a national park is absolutely amazing. This area has endless things to see and do outside and the endless breathtaking views never get old.
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut? Hike (a lot), snowboard, go on adventures with my cat (yes, she has her own backpack, but I am NOT a crazy cat lady), take in the views from wherever I can hang my hammock, and try to travel to see any corner of this beautiful world that I have not already seen before.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beer? Ptart Ptarmigan (all aboard the sour bandwagon…choo choo!).

Michael Petri, Beertender
How’d you get to Estes Park? I arrived in Estes Park during the recession. While work was scarce many places, I knew there would be work here. And I had recently declared I was done with cities (wanting to return to my mountain boy roots) I drove up one day in my 1975 Ford Truck, got a job, lived in said truck, and started what so far has been a 5 year love affair with Estes Park.
What’s your favorite thing about the area? My favorite thing about Estes Park is the clarity and beauty it provides every single day. The community is pretty fabulous as well.
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut? Outside of my devotions to Rock Cut, I torture words on paper whilst trying to write the Great American Novel. I play guitar. Paint. Build. Dance. I like to think I am a Renaissance Man. I’m probably just schizophrenic.  🙂
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beer? My favorite Rock Cut beer I think will always being the Wooden Buffalo. Mmm.

Brad Rutlidge, Beertender
How’d you get to Estes Park? I decided it was time for a change in my life and I got lucky with a job offer, so I packed as much in my little car as I could and (never even having been out west before) drove 1600 miles from North Carolina, straight to Estes Park.
What’s your favorite thing about the area? I love that we’re a tight knit community where everyone knows each other and helps each other out. That and being so close to RMNP is pretty awesome, too.
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut? I’m either spending time in RMNP hiking and exploring, focusing on various forms of art, or singing and jamming out with my guitar and trying to write new music.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beer? Got to say it’s a tie between our Tyndall Porter and Smoky Brunette.

 

Jim Gartland, Beertender
How’d you get to Estes Park? I was living in Key West when I decided to move to the mountains for a change of pace. I chose Colorado but didnt know what town to pick because I’d never been here before. So I went home for a few months to visit my family and started dating someone. When it can time to move to Colorado I realized she was awesome and if I wanted to keep seeing her I had to invite her along. She was crazy enough to agree and started looking for teaching jobs in Colorado and Estes was the first place to offer her a full time position so we packed up everything and moved here nine days later.
What’s your favorite thing about the area?  Living two minutes away from the mountain and the stars.
What you do when you’re not at Rock Cut? When I’m not working I like target shooting, hiking, camping, riding my motorcycle, and of course drinking adult beverages with my friends.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite Rock Rock beer? Galactic Portal.