Oakland United Beerworks is a small, tightly knit crew of talented, hardworking people dedicated to producing and serving brewery-fresh beer to our hometown of Oakland and neighboring communities. Meet the crew that makes it happen.


Ian Powell

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
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’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’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!

Matt Mahoney

One of the best things about the Craft Beer Biz is meeting seriously gifted and creative folks with multi-faceted and interesting backgrounds. Meet Matt Mahoney, our SF/South Bay Sales Manager, beer aficionado and deep sea fisherman.  Matt’s easy-going demeanor belies his laser focus on driving sales in the SF/South Bay market and his encyclopedic knowledge of beer. Needless to say, selling beer in the Age of COVID is a challenge but we are confident that with a fisherman’s patience (not to mention our damn good beer), Matt will be able to convert nonbelievers into our fans. But wait, there’s more…..Matt is an avid chef and loves cooking meals for his friends and pairing them with great beer. We are delighted to have Matt’s enthusiasm for sudsy beverages and his beer expertise on our team!

Kristen Karnay

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 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 Cigar lounge 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!