Meet the Team

We’re proud to employ more than 80 great team members from around the Brattleboro area. Here are a few of the team leaders and managers at Whetstone and a bit about each of them.

Employee of the Month

Annie Takacs

Annie has hosted with the Whetstone for two years and comes back from Tulane to work with us every summer. Her favorite part of the Whetstone is all the “awesome food”.  Annie is unshakeable in the face of the big summer crowds…but don’t test her, just cause she hasn’t snapped yet doesn’t mean she might not someday! 

Join us in celebrating Annie as our Employee of the Month!

Our employee of the month is typically selected by the previous month’s recipient in a “passing the baton” format.

Do you have a suggested employee of the month – or any feedback about our team or your visit?

Let Us Know

The Rock Stars

You’ve probably bumped into these three around the Whetstone – they’re always running around and saying hi… But behind their even keeled socializing, they’re the rockstars that keep things running smoothly on even the craziest of days.

David Hiler | Co-Founder

David comes from a background of hospitality, having run the local Three Mountain Inn with his family over 20 years ago. Since then he’s travelled the world consulting with Inns and Hotels, including working with Gordon Ramsey on a national TV series.

Back in 2006 David decided to stop traveling so much and settle down in his home town, Brattleboro. That’s when he connected with Tim and Amy (who he knew from his work in the hospitality world) and they decided to create the Whetstone.

While you’ll often see David bouncing around the Whetstone as our GM, you might also catch him out for a run – he recently even finished the Boston Marathon!

Fun fact – David is an excellent musician and was a founding member of the local band Terrapin Island, which tore up the Brattleboro scene in the 2000’s.

Luke Jordan | General Manager

Luke spent the first 3 decades of his life living in New England. At the age of 29 he gave up the beautiful North for the sun and palm trees of South Florida. After trying his hand as a beach bum for a short time running a Jet Ski operation he returned to his passion in the bar and restaurant business. Now almost a decade later he has decided to return to his roots and return to New England.

If you see Luke roaming around the Whetstone, be sure to ask him about the freshest rotating draft and can menu around. He will be happy to point anyone with any pallet in the right direction.

Luke was recently married and spent a good portion of the Honeymoon touring restaurants and breweries. By all accounts he is still married.

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Alexi La Mer | Restaurant Manager

Alexis love of music and knack for organizing has landed her as not just a restaurant manager, but our music and event manager as well. She is still relatively new to the craft beer scene, but has developed quite the distinctive pallet for barrel aged sours and sweet, fruity Krieks.

Alexi has worked in the hospitality and tourism management around New England for over 20 years. From a role as a barista and baker to head of Photography at Mystic Aquarium. Her experience is as diverse as her hair color.

She’s seen a lot of this little corner of the country and has plenty of stories to tell, usually starting with “in Rhode Island…” She’s always happy to talk about her Pitbull, piercings and tattoos.

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Behind the Beer

We somehow manage to produce over 450 barrels (900 kegs) of our own beer each year from that tiny little brewery you’ve seen. That crazy feat is only possible because of this crew…

James Branagan | Brewery Operations Manager

Before moving back to his hometown of Brattleboro to work as our Brewery Operations Manager, James studied Education at UVM and worked as a Special Educator throughout Vermont for several years. Brewing beer was just a weekend hobby back then, but he’d always hoped it would turn into something more.

Today James not only runs the brewery’s day to day operations, but also has taken the lead as our staff educator – ensuring that we have one of the most knowledgeable craft beer teams in the industry.

Fun fact: James lives nearby and bikes to work all year long, come rain or shine, snow or sleet.

Connor Busch | Head Brewer

The only thing Connor loves more than brewing is the Pittsburgh Penguins. With more than 15 years experience brewing up creative craft beers, Connor is a man of few words but exceptional talent.

When he’s not mashing in, or mashing out Connor can typically be found watching and playing ice hockey. A Brattleboro native, Connor can’t properly start his day without his bagel and coffee from Mocha Joes.

He may or may not, also be one of the guys behind the secret, magical bubble displays on Main Street during gallery walk…

Tim Brady | Co-Founder / Former Brewer & Current IT Guy

While Tim was the driving force in the creation of the Whetstone brewery, you’ll rarely see him in there today – thanks to the two amazing brewers that have taken his place.

Today Tim’s focus is on the growth and expansion of Whetstone and it’s sister companies.

He loves to travel and has the privilege to do so in his role as a Board Member for the Brewers Association, speaker and instructor for the BA and as an instructor for the University of Vermont Business of Craft Beer program.

Tim occasionally shares his travel adventures on social media @hereforthebeer.

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Behind the Food

Have you ever had a day where you made almost 600 hamburgers? Well this crew laughs at that and asks what you want for dessert. These leaders keep the kitchen running at its best and it’s team running like a well oiled poutine makin’ machine…

Nikki Peruzzi | Executive Chef / Director of Food and Beverage

Nikki comes from a culinary background that started just outside of Saratoga, NY. At the age of 16 she would drive 45 minutes one way (probably up hill) to her dishwashing gig just because she loved their chicken parmesan. She put herself through culinary school at Schenectady County Culinary program by bartending nights. Her first Executive Chef position was right here in Southern Vermont, 13 years ago and she has been tearing it up for us at the Whetstone for more than 4 years now, where she is the creative force behind not just our everyday menu, but each of our amazing Tapthat Beer Dinners.

When not following her passion for food, Nikki can be found hiking with her family and 2 dogs Tuna and Brisket (lovingly called surf and turf) or coaching her Junior Iron Chef team. Occasionally you can even catch her alter ego spinning some tunes as DJ Zee.

When she’s not running around the kitchen here, you might just find her on her motorcycle hunting down the worlds best Gyros.

Robert Ruff | Kitchen Manager

Born and raised in Boston, Bob came to Vermont six years ago with his wife, Sydney. Cooking was a childhood hobby that evolved into his first job in a restaurant, washing dishes at a beachfront clam shack.

Bob started with Whetstone in 2014 and quickly became one of the go-to crew in the kitchen. Bob’s real undiscovered talents are his MacGayver-like skills. Educated as an engineer and with a passion for vintage tech and old machines, Bob is always ready to help get things up and running with a roll of aluminum foil and a paperclip.

When he’s not running the ship at Whetstone, you might find Bob out skiing, snowshoeing, hiking or playing some tennis.


Behind the Scenes

You probably haven’t seen them, but they play a huge role in the Whetstone.

Marilyn Distelberg | Money Warden

Marilyn keeps everyone here in check and the numbers in balance. Not an easy task when you’re a growing company with a lot of unique facets. But everything from payroll to accounts receivable gets managed so well that the Whetstone books were once cited as an example to others by a large bank. That’s no surprise to us, as Marilyn is one serious, sweet-potato-fry powered, adding machine.

When she’s not crunching the numbers on one of Tim’s new projects, she and her husband enjoy getting away to someplace warm.

Eric | Mr. Fix It

Whetstone would probably make a great testing ground for “commercial” rated products. Because if it can be broken, this place will find a way to break it. Eric manages maintenance for all of Whetstone’s properties and projects and that’s certainly no small task.

Kind of like Beetlejuice, he seems to just show up in perfect time after hearing his name repeated 3 times.

Amy Brady | Co-Founder / Pub Princess

Amy left a successful career in longterm care administration to take control of her destiny, opening a small B&B in Brattleboro, VT with her husband Tim. One of Amy’s favorite passions is craft beer, so it only seemed natural to join Tim and David in the endeavor to open Whetstone. At work she’s the one behind the manuals and procedures… But her other passions include traveling this great country. She enjoys playing “Fun with Statues” and is a rollercoaster junkie.

Her 5 favorite cities are Melbourne Australia, Lisbon Portaguel, Maui Hawaii, Missoula, MT and Brattleboro, VT. Top 5 rollercoasters….Cheeta Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa, Manta at Sea World Orlando, D2 at Magic Mountain California, Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Superman at Six Flags New England. Her spirit animal is the lion. They sleep 20 hours a day. If you see her at Whetstone ask about her 110lb puppy Thor, she loves to talk about her baby; although you are more likely to see her these days at Kampfires Campground, Inn and Entertainment in Dummerston, one of Whetstone’s other businesses.


The Loyalists

While we love our entire team, these loyal crew members are truly like family. They’ve been part of our team long enough that we can barely remember the Whetstone without them.

Nancy Wheeler Sage | Bartender
Leah Caruso | Bartender
Hope Ferzoco | Bartender

Cory Yorgenson | Server / Trainer
Drew Kacik | Bier Garten Manager
Arianna Parris | Host / Busser / Sign Artist

Jared Kennison | Expo / Pookie
36 Bridge St | Brattleboro, VT 05301