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Our Origin Story


Marty Velas is the owner and award winning head brewer at Fanatic Brewing Company in Knoxville, TN.
Marty began brewing in 1978 after a trip to Czechoslovakia exposed him to world-class beer. In 1986, working as an aerospace engineer in his native California, he traded for a career in professional brewing when he signed on with the first microbrewery in Southern California, Alpine Brewing Co. In 1989, he was sent by Alpine to Southern Bavaria to complete a journeyman-ship at the Hofbräuhaus Traunstein.

Combining his engineering background with his brewing experience, Marty began consulting in 1991 with several equipment manufacturers to design breweries and implement improvements in the factory while training and fine-tuning in the field.

He has trained over 200 successful brewers in the industry and has held brewmaster positions at Manhattan Beach Brewing Co., Redondo Beach Brewing Co. Huntington Beach Beer Co. Brewski’s in Hermosa Beach, Fredricksburg Brewing Co. in Texas, Turul Brewing Co. in Szalapa, Hungary and Echigo Landsbrauerei in Niigata, Japan and as the head of brewing operations at Smoky Mountain Brewery.
As a sought after industry consultant and educator he has traveled the world to share his expertise in recipe formulation, product development, training, brewery design and installation. Marty was instrumental in establishing the first craft brewery in Japan in 1994 introducing such brewing styles as: Bock, Stout, Pale Ale, Red Ale and Bavarian Style Weizen Beer.

Marty’s beers have been awarded numerous and prestigious awards including Gold medals from the Great American Beer Fest and The World Beer Cup.

Marty is also an internationally recognized beer judge and an instructor at South College teaching a Professional Brewer’s Science program.

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