Oakland United Beerworks is a small, tightly knit crew of talented, hardworking people dedicated to producing and serving brewery-fresh craft beer to our hometown of Oakland and neighboring communities. Learn about our roots as Linden Street Brewery and meet the crew that makes it happen.

OUR OAKLAND ROOTS

Oakland is and always has been a beer town; a place where hard-working people would gather together to enjoy locally brewed, fresh beer.  As the local population grew during the Gold Rush and building of the Transcontinental Railway, Oakland was affectionately referred to as the “Milwaukee of the West” for its numerous neighborhood-based breweries. After World War II, the resident population moved from downtown to the suburbs and production brewing in Oakland stopped.

Founded in 2009 as Linden Street Brewery, we became the first community-based production brewery in Oakland since Golden West Brewery closed in the 1950s. We are proud to have been the first of many craft brewers who have since restored production brewing in Oakland.

In 2017, following the sale of our building on Linden Street to a new developer, we moved our operations to the waterfront Jack London District and rebranded as Oakland United Beerworks. We substantially expanded our brewing capacity, added a team of dedicated employees, and opened a spacious new taproom.

Under the stewardship of Head Brewer, Ian Powell, and with the support of a small team of dedicated Oakland craft beer enthusiasts, Oakland United is proud to continue the great beer brewing tradition in Oakland.

MEET OUR CREW

Ian Powell
Ian PowellHEAD BREWER

Meet Ian Powell, our new Head Brewer! Ian has genuine Bay Area bonafides, having been raised in Palo Alto and educated on the Peninsula at Gunn High School and then in L.A. at Occidental College. His immersion into All Things Beer began in 2012 at Drake’s Brewery in San Leandro, where he spent five years learning what it takes to run an effective and inventive brewery and was constantly challenged to expand his beer-mind. After a stint as Production Manager at Fort Point Brewery, Ian then served as Brewer at Standard Deviant Brewing in San Francisco in 2019. And now, Oakland United is lucky to have him leading our new and innovative brewing program!

Ralph Long
Ralph LongASSISTANT BREWER
Q. What’s your roll at OUB?
A. Assistant Brewer

Q. What drove you to the beer industry?
A. I started home brewing while in college and thought if I could make a career making beer I’d be a happy man.

Q. Who’s your biggest influence?
A. Definitely my parents. They have been so supportive of me throughout my life and I wouldn’t be anywhere today if it weren’t for them.

Q. What is your favorite beer moment?
A. Probably the first time Shane let me tag along on brew day all day and really absorbing everything that goes into making beer on that scale.

Q. What is your favorite spot in Oakland and why?
A. Anywhere that serves fresh, local beer.

Q. If you could have a beer with anyone in history of the world who would it be? and what would you be drinking?
A. I don’t know. Maybe Al Capone. Seems like that would be a wild time. We’d be drinking some local German lager and whatever Canadian whiskey he’d smuggled across the lake.

Q. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one brew for the rest of your life what would it be?
A. I’d have to say a black lager (Schwarzbier). A lot of different flavors but still crisp and refreshing.

Q. What was the first beer you ever tasted?
A. It must have been a Coors Light but the first craft beer I had was Ninkasi’s Total Domination. That was a game changer.

Q. What is your favorite thing about OUB?
A. The smell. To me nothing beats the smell of mashing in early in the morning.

Q. What is your favorite sound?
A. Music. I’m into everything.

Q. If you weren’t in the beer industry where would you be?
A. Probably an astronaut. Maybe a pirate. I don’t know. Something fun.

Jay Smith
Jay SmithTAPROOM MANAGER
Jay’s impressive pedigree in the East Bay craft beer industry, including as bartender/bar manager at Original Pattern, Aisle 5 and Pacific Coast Brewing, makes him ideally suited to be the face of Oakland United in our new taproom. As we outfit and launch our taproom, his experience in establishing startup bars and taprooms makes Jay a valuable asset to our team. Jay’s Level One Cicerone Certification attests to his knowledge of beer styles and flavors and the highest standards of customer service. His enthusiasm for all things beer is obvious to anyone who meets him so he is the perfect point person to introduce our brews to thirsty beer drinkers in the Bay area. But never to be considered one-dimensional, Jay also earned an Associate in Arts degree in photojournalism, making him at least one of the most interesting men on our team!
Tracy Jung
Tracy JungEAST BAY SALES

Tracy’s 15 years of experience in sales and marketing are eye-popping, having directed custom, client-specific sales programs at GameStop Media, What They Like, Inc., MTV Networks and IGN Entertainment, among others. While at GameStop, her customer-centric approach was key to her success as Sales Director of the West Coast and her accounts included Microsoft, Sony Pictures and PlayStation. Tracy was also National Sales Director at What They Like, Inc. where she was responsible for establishing and maintaining a client base and her core accounts included E.A., Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo. Her talent, personality, and extensive skill set would make her a success in any company but Tracy brings her undeniable sales cred to Oakland United! Be on the lookout for Tracy as she introduces our brews to more restaurants and pubs in your neighborhood! You’ll recognize her for her great smile so come on by and say HI!

Lisa Wells
Lisa WellsREGIONAL SALES MANAGER

We’re pleased to announce the addition of Lisa Wells to our team as Regional Sales Director. With 25+ years of sales experience in various industries, Lisa brings her passion for building relationships, helping customers and growing the business to the craft beer biz. As an alum of UCLA and supported by husband Mike, sons Scott and Bryan and daughter-in-law Lauren, Lisa’s expertise will help her convert non-believers into Oakland United fans across the Bay area. While she’s new to our team, Lisa first fell in love with our beer years ago during our Linden Street days when her nephew, Andrew Ritter, was head brewer. Sadly, Andrew passed away from ALS several years ago but Lisa’s passion for our beer continues and her presence strengthens Andrew’s “Drink Beer, Slay Dragon” philosophy at Oakland United. Her commitment to expanding the reach of our beer is truly a labor of love and we are delighted to have her on our team!

Joel Pattinson
Joel PattinsonSALES REPRESENTATIVE

One of the best things about the Craft Beer Biz is meeting seriously gifted and creative folks with multi-faceted and interesting backgrounds. Meet Joel Pattinson, beer aficionado, violin soloist, rock climber, and our new Sales Representative. Selling beer in a time of COVID restrictions is a challenge but we are confident that with his talents (not to mention our damn good beer), Joel will be able to spread the gospel of Oakland United to the uninitiated around the greater Bay area. In his spare time, Joel fosters dogs for Copper’s Dream Animal Rescue and is the proud owner of 3 feisty chickens (Bruiser, Goldiehawn and Phyllis Killer). We welcome Joel’s enthusiasm for our sudsy beverages and his love of his animal family to our team!

Kristen Karnay
Kristen KarnayOPERATIONS LEAD

Kristen Karnay is our Operations Lead, a position that requires someone who’s part Traffic Cop, part Jack-of-All-Trades, and part Flying Wallenda. While working at our young start-up is fun, running a brewery requires diligence by many creative people, working together to produce, distribute and sell our beer. Kristen works with all aspects of brewery business workflow, maximizing our efficiency while tracking production, inventory, delivery, budgets and ensuring quality standards and employee safety. She is also primary contributor to our social media so you can add “Wildlife Photographer” to her list of attributes. Interestingly, Kristen has a Master’s of Science degree in Forensic Science from the University of California at Davis and has worked in the Ballistics Department at the San Diego Police Department. So while she could deal with noncompliance in several “interesting” ways, she prefers to rely on her considerable powers of persuasion to implement our production and performance goals.

John Karnay
John KarnayMANAGING PARTNER

John has been a resident and champion of Oakland since 1976 when he moved from Gary, Indiana to the Bay area to attend Cal. Since then, John has married, had twin daughters and had 30 years of experience as a real estate broker, with an interlude as founder of LaSalle Cigars in Montclair. Despite his success, John has never forgotten his roots in the steel mill country of Indiana. His father, most of his family and for a brief period of time, John himself, worked in the steel mills. These blue collar roots help ground John in the values of hard work and equal opportunity and a strong sense of community. You will frequently see John working at the brewery or doing deliveries. If you do, say hi—he would love to hear from you!