Jake Silva – Brewing Artist

Jake Silva was introduced to art at a young age by his grandmother, an artist.  “Drawing and painting have always interested me, so my grandmother would show me tips on how to paint, and she expressed interest in my art,” said Jake. He has also taken several art classes in college to improve his skills.  Jake uses his creative talents in brewing beer as well.

Jake, Skagit Farm to Pint, and Skagit PUD unite water conservation, breweries, and art to raise funds for the non-profit Viva Farms.

Craft Brewing Program

When Jake was finishing up a degree at Skagit Valley College, his adviser Sally Dixon, asked if he was interested in learning how to make beer. “I’ve always wanted to own a bar and restaurant one day, so why not learn to make beer,” said Jake. Part of the Craft Brewing Academy requirements is to intern at a brewery.  Jake picked Skagit River Brewery.  After completing the Craft Brewing Program, Jake was determined to work for Skagit River brewery as an assistant.  But as it turned out, Jake was faced with an opportunity to be the head brewer. “I was a bit shaky at first but excited,” said Jake. Then the pandemic hit.  Skagit River Brewery closed, and Jake learned some new skills at La Conner Brewery.  When Skagit River Brewery re-opened, Jake was invited back to rebuild the entire line-up of beers.  “Being the former brewer at Skagit River Brewery, I was excited to bring back some classic beers and new styles,” said Jake.

Approach to Brewing

Jake gravitates toward American Ale styles, but he is broadening his skill set with European style ales. Jake’s approach is hands-on when it comes to brewing day…and working hard preparing all week beforehand. “I am very meticulous during my brewing process, and if I am making the same beer again, I repeat the process perfectly,” says Jake.  And that doesn’t mean Jake isn’t afraid to adjust a recipe if it needs improvement.  “I always want to try new things and different styles to broaden my range,” said Jake.  Brewing is the most fun part of the job for Jake, but he also loves to create new recipes and practice his skills in creating exciting and fun beers.  Jake attends beer festivals to be inspired by all the different styles of beer other brewers are making.  Consistency is essential in the brewing world.  “I strive to keep my consistency when repeating a beer recipe as closely as possible and make sure everything is clean, so I can prevent any funky flavors from developing,” said Jake.

Art and Beer

Jake’s inspiration for the rain barrel design was Skagit River Brewery, Mount Vernon, and the Skagit Valley. Jake painted the newest version of the Skagit River Brewery logo on one side, but instead of filling the inside with a Valley, Jake decided to draw the Mt Vernon bridge under the daytime and nighttime sky. “I had to throw some tulips in there and put the year our brewery was established,” said Jake.   Jake incorporated the logo into a waterfall and included oars to hold up the Skagit River Brewing banner. “I chose oars because they were in the original Skagit River Brewery logo,” said Jake.

Skagit River Brewery

Founded in 1995, Skagit River Brewery is located in historic downtown Mount Vernon.  Besides having 24 taps and cocktails, Skagit River Brewery is a full-service restaurant with specialties such as smoked pulled pork, brisket, sandwiches, and pizza.  Skagit River Brewery is family-friendly, and your furry friends are welcome on the covered deck.

Jake’s creativity extends to the spent grain as well. “I like to give away my spent grain to a local farmer I know through the La Conner fire department, which he uses to feed his pigs,” said Jake. And what is Jake looking forward to in 2022?  “I’m excited to try the different types of beers I have planned to make this summer, and I’m excited to get into some brew fests this year and see what everyone thinks of our beers.”