Founders.

Eric

Eric Foster

Co-Founder & CEO

Born and raised in Michigan, Eric’s love for cider began as a teenager working at the local cider mill in his hometown of Northville. It was here that his cider making prowess developed as he learned the fundamentals of the operation: pressing, packaging, juice varieties, hard cider and apple wine production, that would later become the foundation of Stem. An avid skier and outdoorsman, Eric moved to Colorado in 2000 to earn a degree in Watershed Science from Colorado State University and pursue a career in the outdoor industry. While keeping his love for fermentation and homebrewing at the forefront, Eric's career in marketing and business development at Fortune 500 companies was made successful with his entrepreneurial drive and strong leadership skills. In 2011, Eric reignited his fermentation talents when he and fellow co-founder, Phil, produced the first batch of Stem Cider (now known as Real Dry) in his home cidery. As CEO and “Lifter of Heavy Things”, you'll find Eric working closely on all facets of the business: creating sales and marketing initiatives, nurturing relationships with growers and industry friends, sourcing only the finest ingredients, building the very best team, and sharing the good cider word. When he's not at Stem, he's enjoying family time, fly fishing, or out skiing the backcountry. More than anything, he appreciates how much he loves coming to work at the cider house every day. Eric lives in Lafayette with his wife, Colleen, and their sons, Quinn and Connor. Together, they are moving towards living their dream of owning an orchard and bison ranch.

Phil

Phil Kao

Co-Founder & COO

Having grown up a few miles down the road from the oldest cider mill in Michigan, Phil moved to Denver in 2005 and earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Colorado in 2011. As the company's founding Cidermaker in 2013, Phil's expertise in biological and mechanical testing and engineering made for a natural transition to his current role as Head of Operations, Quality Control and Chief Nitpicker. On the daily, Phil leads the charge in cider house operations working in close collaboration with the production team to ensure the highest standards are met at every step of the cider making process. Whether he’s integrating new tanks, fine-tuning the performance of the canning line, or tweaking a recipe just slightly, it's applying his skills for designing and refining systems and processes that he enjoys the most. A passionate cyclist and home cook, when he's not running experiments in the cider lab, chances are good he's out on his road bike, in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, or savoring time at home in Denver with his family.


OUR Leadership TEAM.


Ian Capps

Head Cidermaker & Lead Singer


eric lee

executive chef


Dave duffy

chief commercial officer


Courtney O’Rourke

Director, marketing & Cider Relations


Brendan Kinkopf

VP of Finance & Nickels & Dimes


Matt hoskins

sales director & modern industrial businessman


Arline Kellogg

GM, RINO TAPROOM & cider wench


daniel veliz

hospitality director


ERIN TORRES

GM, THE NORTHERN SPY