Brew Master: John ‘Cisco’ Francisco

John "Cisco" Francisco, Brew Master (image)

Cisco has been brewing since 1980, with a special passion for mastering traditional Belgian beer styles. He has traveled twice to Belgium to learn traditional brewing techniques from many artisanal breweries throughout the country.

He spent most of his life working as an Information Technology Manager for the University of Arizona. In 2012 he retired, and eventually moved to the White Mountains and built a home just outside of Show Low. However, the universe was not about to let Cisco retire, even though he had already turned down two offers in Tucson to start a new brewery immediately after leaving the U of A.  In 2015, after sampling beers at his newly built house, Pinetop Brewing Co. decided to try and pull him out of retirement and give him the opportunity to create a dedicated traditional Belgian brewery. In February 2016, after 4 months as their head brewer, his Grand Cru won Gold in the Belgian category and Best in Show at Arizona’s largest beer festival – the Strong Beer Festival in Phoenix. Since then the brewery has had a hard time keeping up with the demand for his beer. But the good news is that by the summer of 2017, Pinetop Brewing Company will be expanded from a 3.5BBL to a 10BBL system, with more fermenters and conditioning tanks!

Outside of brewing, Cisco has other hobbies to keep him ultra-busy: playing bass guitar in local bands, slide guitar, riding Harley Davidson motorcycles, caving, hiking, exercising and foreign travel with his wife Bonny Brady. Of course wherever he goes there are mandatory stops at local breweries for tasting current offerings and talking to other brewers.