Our team

our people. our strength.

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Founder • Brewer • Educator • Advanced Cicerone® • BJCP® National Beer Judge

Chris Kesler

Director of Beverage Operations • Certified Cicerone®

Dan Sartwell

Brewer • Head of Flannel Panel • Certified Cicerone®

Prescott Stanton

Quality Control • Head of Beer Curriculum • BJCP® National Beer Judge • Certified Cicerone®

Rob Friesel

Director of Restaurant Operations

Neal Johnston

Spirit Master

Dave Mosher

Head Distiller & Maintenance Lead

Travis Johnson

Director of Accounting

Deb Kesler

Front of House • Guest Experience Manager

Becca Christie

Front of House Manager • Bar Manager

Michael Lattanzio

Catering & Events Coordinator

Haley Gill

Partner, Facility Owner

Peter Edelmann

Founder • Brewer • Educator • Advanced Cicerone® • BJCP® National Beer Judge

Chris Kesler

Chris has a business degree from University of Vermont with a concentration in Management Information Systems. In the first decade of his career, he rose quickly from programming jobs, into team leadership, then management positions eventually in charge of hiring and managing 4 departments for an IBM vendor company in Essex Junction. Finally succumbing to his natural entrepreneurial instincts, he founded a web design, development and marketing company (Earthlogic, Inc.) in May of 1998. 15 years later, he founded a second company (Logic Properties, LLC) and purchased an old Church building in Essex Junction. After renovating the building, he began using it as a base of operations for Earthlogic, brought on a local co-working space (Excelerate Essex), and most important – began his home brewing career in the basement.

Fast forward to 2017, Chris was top 2 in the state-wide Make the Cut competition. Many home brewing awards later, he was named Vermont Homebrewer of the year in 2018 and followed up with back to back wins (along with Justin Rito) in 2019. 2017 also put Chris on the path to aggressive beer education – he hosted a year long BJCP® study group and a 9 month Cicerone® study group with both ending in successful certifications. In 2022, Chris earned an Advanced Cicerone® certification and in 2023, he earned the rank of BJCP® National beer judge making him the only person in Vermont that is both as Advanced Cicerone® and a BJCP® National beer judge. In 2018, Chris also earned a certificate in the business of Craft Beer at UVM.

In 2022, Chris was elected as Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont and also serves on the Government Affairs Committee of the Vermont Brewers Association. Chris was instrumental in promoting (and testifying for) legislation in Vermont that moved Ready to Drink Canned Cocktails into private distribution, and promoting much needed COVID relief funding to small businesses in Vermont in the form of the Forgivable Loan Program administered by VEDA.

Chris is the founding partner of Black Flannel Brewing Co. and one of 4 founding partners of Black Flannel Distilling Co. He loves bringing a unique experience to local & state residents, and travelers looking to experience the best Vermont has to offer.

Director of Beverage Operations • Certified Cicerone®

Dan Sartwell

Dan began his pro brewing career as assistant brewer in 2011 at the historic Shed Brewery in Stowe, Vermont. He also worked a short time at Rock Art Brewery and the original Trapp Family Lodge brewery as a cellarman and brewer. Most recently, Dan was the Brewmaster at 14th Star Brewery and Taproom where, with his amazing team, he was able to grow 14th Star from a “garage operation” to a large regional production brewery.

When Dan isn’t brewing beer, he enjoys spending time with his family of 4 in northern Vermont. Dan enjoys hiking through the woods of Vermont foraging for wild edibles, fishing, and pondering the secrets of the universe.

Dan is excited to collaborate with the entire Black Flannel team to create world class brews for all of our loyal patrons. Black Flannel Brewing is the essence of craft, quality, education, community, and sustainability. Every step of the process will be highly scrutinized by all of these tenets so that when you receive a glass of beer from one of our highly trained beertenders, the overall experience will be unmatched.

Brewer • Head of Flannel Panel • Certified Cicerone®

Prescott Stanton

Prescott  was born and raised in rural Alaska and attended film school in San Francisco, CA. After working in the film marketing industry in Los Angeles as an editor he decided to shift his professional pursuits, guided by his passion of homebrewing, he found his way to Vermont.  At the very beginning of his career in the Vermont beer industry, Prescott washed kegs and assisted Dan Sartwell in the cellar and brewhouse at 14th Star Brewing company,  to ultimately work his way up and advance to the position of Director of Brewing Operations.  Prescott is a Certified Cicerone, enjoys honing his craft, and closely identifies with the mantra of Black Flannel: Work Hard, Drink Beer, and Pet Dogs. 

When Prescott is not in the brewhouse or cellar you might find him spending time with his son, walking his dog Luna in the woods, or enjoying a tasty beverage.

Quality Control • Head of Beer Curriculum • BJCP® National Beer Judge • Certified Cicerone®

Rob Friesel

Rob is a DC-area native transplanted to Vermont in 2002. A long-time craft beer aficionado, he began home brewing in 2014. Instantly hooked, Rob brewed over a hundred batches as an amateur, building sophistication and skill with each recipe. The results are award-winning beers across a diverse array of styles. A member of the Green Mountain Mashers, he has written several articles for Brew Your Own magazine. A passionate craftsman, Rob credits his awards to a relentless focus on continuous improvement. In the pursuit of the highest quality, Rob sought out ways to develop the skills critical to critiquing beer. In 2016, he attended the day-long seminar “Evaluating Your Homebrew Like a Master Judge” which was taught by Gordon Strong, the BJCP’s highest-ranked Grand Master Judge. Rob spent the next year and a half studying everything about beer tasting and evaluation. By the end of 2018 he held a Certified Beer Judge rank in the BJCP®. In 2019, Rob came within one medal point of tying Chris Kesler & Justin Rito for Vermont Homebrewer of the Year, but did manage a three-peat for Vermont Mead Maker of the Year (2017, 2018, & 2019). In 2022, Rob managed to crush the Certified Cicerone® exam to become the 16th Certified Cicerone® in Vermont. And now in 2023, Rob advanced to the rank of National BJCP® beer judge, a distinction only actively held by 6 people in the state. When Rob is not sniffing beers, you can find him tinkering with software (his day job), exploring the glorious outdoors of Vermont, or planning his next travel adventure.

Director of Restaurant Operations

Neal Johnston

Neal first fell in love with food at the age of 11 in Maidenhead England when his grandfather took him to a restaurant that served chateaubriand table-side. His love of culinary grew from there. He started his career in the travel industry where he worked for 15 years, which helped him further develop his love for food, wine, and travel.

Neal then took the plunge earning a culinary degree in Vancouver and has since spent 35 years in hospitality across the world: from London to Vancouver, Los Angeles to Vermont. He earned his chops at Michelin Star Melisse in LA and The Lobster in Santa Monica, CA.

Locally, he was part owner and head of Food & Beverage at the Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond, VT for 15 years. After KTB, Neal was the head of F&B in downtown Burlington at Bleu Northeast Kitchen. For the last couple years, he has been the F&B director at the Burlington Country Club.

Neal brings a wealth of knowledge, kindness, and approachability to our team. He LOVES Black Flannel and is excited to take on the unique challenges that come with executing a high volume upscale Brewpub. Neal lives with his family nearby in Jericho, VT.

Spirit Master

Dave Mosher

Dave has been a Ski Industry professional for most of his career but his true passion is in craft distilling. After 20 years of home brewing, Dave developed an interest in distilling and his true education began around 2013 when he spent all of his free time working to educate himself in the process of starting a distillery. This involved countless road trips to visit distilleries, ask questions, and create alliances.

In his travels, he landed an apprenticeship at SILO Distillery in, Windsor, VT, for the summer of 2014 and worked alongside their Master Distiller, Ray Parker. He picked up a part-time summer weekend job as a Farmers Market Sales rep for Lake George Distilling Co. in Fort Ann, NY. Around this time, he met Duncan Holaday, owner and founder of Dunc’s Mill Distillery in, Barnet, VT – Vermont’s first distillery post-prohibition. After a work session & tasting, Duncan encouraged Dave to pursue a career in distilling.

A couple years later Dave enrolled in Duncan’s week-long distilling course through VTC called Craft Distilling As a Profession – The Vermont Experience. By the time the course was over, Duncan asked Dave to run his distillery with him for the summer. Then when Duncan decided he wanted to retire from the VTC Course, he asked Dave to take over. Dave has been running the course since 2018.

Through his distillery associations, Dave had a chance to develop a unique skill producing pilot batches from vegetables, fruits, roots and botanicals. As a founder of Black Flannel Distilling Co., Dave has the opportunity to bring his distinctive and unique brandies, whiskeys, and specialty spirits to the market. Educating folks in the art and science of distillation is a large part of his vision. It’s fun to share the passion!

Head Distiller & Maintenance Lead

Travis Johnson

Travis is the Head Distiller and jack of all trades at Black Flannel Distilling Co. Born in the small town of Robbinston, Maine, he grew up with a passion for building and creating things. Since moving to Milton, Vermont in 2011, projects have included: woodworking (where he has constructed a home bar, a coffee table from a used whiskey barrel, and an apple cider press), metalworking, cheesemaking, smoking foods, gardening, and most importantly, home brewing.

Travis became a member of the Green Mountain Mashers Home brew Club shortly after moving to Vermont, where he met Chris, Dave and Peter, and where Black Flannel Distilling Co. was conceptualized. Travis has split his time over the last 9 years between being a marine engineer on a ship (in the Bering Sea off Alaska) and his home in Vermont with his wife Abbie and their two dogs.

At Black Flannel Distilling Co, Travis is most excited about educating visitors about the ins and outs of distilling, and of course creating world class spirits. If you miss him at the tasting room, you might find him on his boat enjoying Lake Champlain, in the woods of Vermont, or at the local disc golf course looking for an aberrantly thrown disc in the bushes.

Director of Accounting

Deb Kesler

Deb is our Director of Accounting, who on a daily basis performs the bookkeeping & accounting functions for both Black Flannel Brewing and Black Flannel Distilling. Deb is the keeper of clear heads and sanity checks. She also doubles as our Human Resource administrator helping to organize on-boarding, employee benefits, handbook, and many other day to day office activities.

For the last 30 years, Deb has been responsible for varying functions and roles in accounting for many industries including trash & recycling, marketing & design, manufacturing, health & fitness, property management, and is now excited to take on an entirely new challenge in the craft beer, craft spirits, scratch food and hospitality industry.

Black Flannel prides itself on assembling a team of highly talented people in their respective crafts and professions. Deb brings a level of professionalism and applies bookkeeping and accounting principles as her own “craft” on a daily basis.

Front of House • Guest Experience Manager

Becca Christie

Born and raised in Vermont, Becca, brings over 16 years of hospitality experience to the table. Her journey started at Ben & Jerry’s, where she cultivated a passion for exceptional service and quality products. From there, she honed her skills at a pizza shop, a farm-to-table restaurant, a cozy café and a family-owned winery.

In 2015, Becca assumed the role of General Manager at New Moon in Burlington, VT, where she dedicated six years to orchestrating seamless operations, fostering vibrant atmospheres, and ensuring guest satisfaction. In 2021, driven by a pursuit of knowledge, Becca enrolled at UVM for Business Administration and Economics and started working as a server at Black Flannel.

Now at Black Flannel, Becca is committed to curating unforgettable guest experiences, blending her wealth of hospitality experience with an enthusiasm for craft beer and team building.

Becca loves to travel whenever she can. Most recently, she spent a semester in Denmark and visited Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands. She also enjoys snowboarding, trying out new restaurants, spending quality time at home with her fiancé, and playing with her puppy.

Front of House Manager • Bar Manager

Michael Lattanzio

Born an East-Coaster, Michael migrated to Missoula, Montana in 2005 to attend the University of Montana where he pursued a degree in Environmental Studies. Living amongst the elk and bears in the lands of the evergreens, he spent most of his time fly fishing, snowboarding, whitewater rafting, and of course drinking local beers at all the amazing Missoula breweries. Michael began his professional career in hospitality at Montgomery Distillery as bartender, Events Manager, Sales Manager, Bottling Manager, Distillery Tour Manager, and other operations. With a strong passion for beer  he joined GILD Brewing – a brewpub with Mexican-inspired food & a vintage arcade. During the pandemic he came back east to rejoin his family. He joined Black Flannel in the Spring of 2021 as front of house supervisor. Michael has strong knowledge of beer, spirits, cocktails, and the hospitality industry. His passion makes him a valuable asset to the Black Flannel community. 

Catering & Events Coordinator

Haley Gill

Raised in North Carolina, Haley grew up in the kind of house that likes to host. Whether elaborate parties or quick conversations, Haley was taught to always receive others with kindness, compassion, and a steadfast friendliness. While she learned to love people, she proved to be a resilient team player on the soccer field and a rather prolific reader-writer on her own time. During high school, she worked on a family-owned farm, hosting weddings and other private events—her first opportunity to explore the world of professional hospitality. And out of North Carolina came a thoughtful creative, eagerly inspired by the people around her.

Haley studied political science and French at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, where she learned to communicate with confidence, humility, and curiosity. There, she worked at the Student Facilities Center, managing the building as well as a team of her peers. Studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, she exercised her French and her sense of adventure.

After graduating, she relocated to Vermont and began serving at Black Flannel. Delighted by the connections made with each and every guest, she became the Catering & Events Coordinator and is honored to help people come together and celebrate each other.

A self-proclaimed poet and a pandemic-learned painter, Haley loves any opportunity to practice self-expression. She also enjoys live music, skiing, hiking, and traveling.

Partner, Facility Owner

Peter Edelmann

Peter is a serial entrepreneur with 30 years in leasing, financing, and developing retail centers across the country. Peter has owned the Essex Experience (formerly Essex Outlets) since 1993 and owns the Essex Cinema and the Essex Resort and Spa. Peter began his career at the Old Vail Ranch in Southern California where he developed 550 homes plus 80 acres of commercial properties. He has developed and re-developed commercial projects around the country including 230,000-square-foot Essex Experience in Vermont, Las Americas – 650,000sf Class A Outlet Center in San Diego CA, acquisition and sale of the Secaucus Designer Center, Development projects in Columbia, SC & Plattsburgh NY. Peter is a partner of both Black Flannel Brewing Co. and Black Flannel Distilling Co.

When not spending time with his wife and partner Jessica and his younger children Katarina and Janosh, he can also be found on the tennis courts, or in the water, skiing, surfing, kayaking, rowing, sailing or under water waiting for the next alien encounter at Buff Ledge.