Joe grew up in Rapid City and graduated from Kalkaska High School. He began working in the hospitality industry at a young age as a waiter at the Dockside on Torch Lake. Joe began homebrewing while attending Western Michigan University. After beginning his professional brewing career with stints at the former Traverse Brewing Company in Elk Rapids, the former Michigan Brewing Company in Webberville and the former Jackson Brewing Company (later Zig’s Kettle and Brew), Joe decided to return to northern Michigan and start his own brewery. Since then, Joe has worked every position at Short’s. Don’t be surprised if you stop by our pub and find him pouring beers and taking orders. Behind the scenes, however, Joe spearheads the creative process, any construction or expansion projects, marketing, special events and overall direction of the company. Joe is married to Leah Short, and they have two sons.
Leah ShortOwner and Visionary
Leah is from out west. After years of working and playing hard in the mountains, she graduated from college and was prepared for a career path outside of the hospitality industry. But first, she decided to spend one last summer in northern Michigan. As her lifelong friend, Joe Short, had recently opened a microbrewery in Bellaire, Leah hit him up for a summer job. The rest is history. Well, almost. It is worth noting that during a whirlwind trip out east to visit Dogfish Head and see several Ween concerts, Joe convinced Leah to stay in northern Michigan. Upon her return to the pub, Leah created our delicious Ween-inspired food menu. Through countless hours working in the deli, Leah also established the high standards of our gourmet deli operation. Although Leah still misses the rugged, mountainous terrain of the west, she has also learned to love the beautiful lakes and woods of northern Michigan. Leah takes great pride in the excellent food, beverages and service that our pub continues to offer its patrons.
Scott moved to the U.S. from England in 1999 after a successful career as a Database designer for EA Sports. While attending college at Michigan State University, Joe and Scott met through a mutual friend. Scott’s background in business and real estate has been a tremendous asset to Short’s, earning him the nickname “The Magician.” While Joe’s focus was directed towards “the next big thing to excite craft beer fans in Michigan,” Scott was the guy who found a way to fund such projects and make them financially viable. In this way, Scott came on board at Short’s as a silent partner. By 2007, Short’s had grown to a point where it required Scott’s attention full time. In addition to his work at Short’s, Scott has also become a major advocate for craft brewers throughout the nation. He currently serves as President of the Michigan Brewers Guild, Member of the Brewers Association Government Affairs Committee, and has traveled throughout the U.S. advocating for craft breweries and brewers. When he isn’t working, Scott enjoys calling soccer “football” and tons of other English things like that. Scott resides in Traverse City, Michigan with his two daughters.
Tony HansenChief Innovation Officer
Tony met Joe Short while attending a homebrew club meeting at the pub in late 2006. At that time, Tony was cooking at Boone’s Long Lake Inn while experimenting with homebrewing, biofuel production and organic farming. Joe expressed an inspiring vision of what brewing could be and the need for help in the brewery. During one of the homebrew club meetings, Joe offered Tony a part-time job as a pub brewer. In 2007, as Short’s started to experience rapid growth, Joe began focusing on expansion and Tony’s role quickly transformed into a lead brewer position at the pub in Bellaire. In 2009, when the expansion was complete, Tony moved over to the production facility. Tony manages production operations in Elk Rapids and oversees pub production along with R&D brewing. Today, Tony designs the beer, the branding and the names for many of our beers.
Tyler manages the Quality, Maintenance, and IT Departments at Short’s. Tyler lives in Traverse City with a large fridge full of Huma Lupa Licious.
Pauline Knighton-PrueterChief Sales Officer
Pauline is originally from Farmington Hills. Growing up, she spent weekends in northern Michigan at her family’s cottage a couple miles from the Short’s pub. Her experiences drinking Huma at the pub sparked an interest in the beer industry. She graduated from the University of Michigan and shortly after started her Short’s career in the Marketing Department. Outside of selling beer, she enjoys drinking beer, playing with clay, tinkering in the kitchen, and spending time on the Northern MI lakes.
Pauline is also the Vice President of the non-profit organization, Fermenta, a Michigan women’s craft collective. The organization provides mentorship and scholarship opportunities for women in the fermented beverage industries.
Rachel BregeChief Financial Officer
Originally from Rogers City in Northeast Michigan, Rachel earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University. After graduation, Rachel worked for eight years in public accounting in Traverse City and became a Certified Public Accountant. Looking for a change, she found herself at the Short’s family doorstep. Having always been a Northern Michigan native and loving all things outdoors, she naturally fell in love with Short’s “get outside and play” mindset. If you can’t find her on the trails, a lake, or exploring our National Parks, Rachel’s chasing after her eleven nieces and nephews.
Erin KuetheGeneral Manager
Erin is originally from Battle Creek, Michigan. She moved to Lansing during her college years, spending two years at Lansing Community College before finishing her degree at Michigan State University. Erin was bit by the traveling bug when she landed her first post-college job in the British Virgin Islands. Since then she’s been all over the world, including South Africa, The Bahamas, Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, France, Peru, and India. Erin joined the Short’s Brewing Company family in 2012 working as a pubtender, and worked her way up through the ranks to become our Pub General Manager in 2015. When she’s not running our Pub like a well-oiled machine, you can find Erin (probably with her dog, Bruce Wayne, and her daughter, Claire) in the great Northern Michigan outdoors, enjoying disc golfing, hiking, running, biking, and water sports. Her favorite part about working for Short’s? “The people who work here are like family. The growth continuously challenges and excites me, and the company embodies all of the things I love about playing outside.”
Rob LewisAssistant General Manager
Rob grew up in Metro Detroit. Starting his hospitality career off in 2008, Rob has worked various food and beverage positions in everything from resorts and country clubs to restaurants and conference centers. While studying hospitality business at Michigan State University, he had the opportunity to live and work in Northern Michigan for a couple summers. He fell in love with it, and when Short’s presented the opportunity to move north year-round, Rob was all over it. Residing in Bellaire, Rob enjoys playing hockey, golfing, & spending summer days on the lake with his golden retriever, Bulleit.