Matthew Peetz, MS
10 Years of 'Yeast Whispering'
Matthew Peetz, aka the 'Yeast Whisperer', has been propagating yeast since before it was the cool thing to do. Like many brewers, it all started with a homebrew kit that Matthew received at his college graduation. Despite making some terrible extract beer, exploding bottles, and a sudden increase in carboys, he stuck with it, and by the end of that summer he knew that he wanted to work in the brewing industry. Now just to figure out how.
Interested in fermentation and biology, Matthew decided to go back to school to work on a Masters with an emphasis on Cell Biology. His advisor in grad school happened to also facilitate the Rocky Mountain Microbrewing Symposium. While in grad school, Matthew started culturing a little known yeast species called Schizosacharomyces pombe (fun fact: 'pombe' is Swahili for beer). From this humble beginning Matthew moved onto culturing the more familiar yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae ('cerevisiae': latin for beer). Interested in all things beer related, Matthew noticed that the lab across the hall was being used to grow yeast for local homebrewers in Colorado Springs. One thing led to another and soon Matthew was both brewing beer at home, and collecting yeast cultures of his own.
Once Matthew finished his Masters degree, he went on to work as a professional research assistant at Anschutz Medical Campus, spending his days culturing and doing research with a variety of yeast species. However, the desire to work in the brewing industry would not go away. Soon Matthew was back in Colorado Springs working at the Brewing Science Institute and went from there to do Bio-Fuel research at GEVO, inc.
While at GEVO, Matthew had the opportunity to handle yeast production on a seven-figure scale. Matthew was able to work with proprietary yeast strains and see yeast production at scales unheard of in the brewing industry.
In 2013, with a partner he met at GEVO, Matthew founded Inland Island Yeast Laboratories, getting the company started in a spare bathroom filled with homemade propagation equipment. Things at Inland Island started taking off, and by 2017 Matthew had grown the company from his bathroom to a 6,000 square foot production facility. While things at Inland Island were going well, Matthew had moved from working hands-on with his favorite pal yeast, to managing payroll, employees, and emails.
Wanting to get back to the roots of his passion, working closely with the craft brewing community, Matthew decided to do something radical: downscale. Matthew wanted to create a company that focused on providing the most premium quality, freshest, and consistent yeast strains to his customers. He wanted to be the one who opened the door and shook the hands of every customer that walked in the door. He wanted to return to his dual passions of beer and yeast; for that reason, Matthew created Propagate Lab™--a company that not only focuses on providing premium quality Rocky Mountain brewer's yeast™, but also invests in the success of our talented Colorado-based brewers.