Crew

Billy Pyatt - Co-owner -  A product of North Carolina’s public schools from K-12, Engineering School at NC State, and Business School at UNC-CH, Billy is a true, authentic Carolinian.  That independent, can-do spirit forged in Western NC helped him succeed through 30 years of worldwide travel holding sales, marketing, strategy, and executive leadership positions at Corning, Inc.  Billy’s mid-1990s obsession with home brewing formed the basis for Catawba Brewing, yet he continually blames and credits his wife.   Since retiring from Corning in 2012, Billy has led Catawba’s substantial growth efforts while (hopefully) steering clear of the corporate world’s drudgery.  His beloved NCSU Wolfpack often lets him down on the courts and fields, but he knows they will rise again – and he will be there.  Of course, his favorite quote is “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.  That’s a heckuva day.”  - Jim Valvano (former NCSU Head Basketball Coach and 1983 National Champion)

Jetta Pyatt - Co-owner, Jetta bought the homebrew kit for her husband that started this journey in 1994. After graduating from The University of the South (YSR!) and Duke’s business school, she spent 31 years at Corning, Inc. where most of her tenure was in operations and marketing before retiring in March 2016. She now spends her time at Catawba Brewing doing all the jobs that neither Billy nor Scott want to do.

Scott Pyatt - Co-Owner - Scott graduated from Appalachian State and moved to Steamboat Springs Colorado to ski the powder and work in the seasonal industry.  At the end of each winter, he would move back to his NC mountains; and in the summer of 1995, he started helping Billy, his brother, home brew.  No one remembers how without the web, but he found the assets of a defunct CO brewery. He and Billy flew out to his beloved CO, rented a U-haul and drove it back to NC where it sat for two years in Billy's garage. In 1997, Scott started the up fit of the Old Mill Building in Glen Alpine and they brewed the first beer to sell in 1999.  The last 17 years have been spent in the brewing industry and helping raise his two daughters with his wife, Tracy.  He still hits the slopes on occasion, it's like riding a bike.

Kevin Sondey - Director, Brewing Operations -Kevin is a North Carolina native who started his brewing career in 1994 at a small 3 BBL brewpub in Portland, OR. He attended the Siebel Institute of Technology and landed at Stoudt’s Brewing Company learning to brew German style lagers. He returned to his hometown of Wilmington, NC in 1996 to run Wilmington Brewing Company as their brewmaster, overseeing production at three locations.  He spent time at Dogfish Head as packaging manager, brewer, and quality assurance manager. North Carolina called him home and he had a short stint at Highland Brewing Company before taking his current position as director of brewery operations at Catawba Brewing Company. Kevin is an avid whitewater paddler and you can likely find him on the Green River Narrows when not overseeing the production of North Carolina’s finest craft beers.

Jim Birch - Director of Wholesale Operations, came to Catawba after a 13-year career in finance and operations in NYC and London. Even though he’s a recovering corporate executive, he still finds excitement in an Excel spreadsheet – except now the reports and equations are in barrels! He’s been a homebrewer for 10 years and is excited to help Catawba grow and expand throughout the southeast.

Tanya Birch - Manager, Charlotte Retail Operations – Tanya spent time in HR and investment management before happily evolving into writing and beer. Her interest in craft beer solidified inside a tiny NYC apartment, where she fulfilled the Assistant to the Brewer role in her husband’s homebrew experiments. That developed into beer exploration abroad while living in London and traveling to 20+ countries in Europe. Fortunately, the beer exploration hasn’t stopped; Tanya has authored a guidebook, Beer Lover’s Virginia, and has written articles on the thriving Asheville beer scene. She and her husband, Jim, and dog, Barley live in Charlotte NC where she is spearheading our new Charlotte operations.

Mary Mayo - Creative Director, grew up in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. A twenty-five-year career designing home decor products and commercial spaces lead her to do the interior design of Catawba Brewing’s second brewery and retail tasting room in Asheville, NC. Her background in merchandising and managing showrooms for international furniture markets made her the choice for Catawba’s Creative Director. She affectionately describes her job title for Catawba Brewing as “art and parties.”

Jared Turbyfill - Manager, Banks Avenue Retail Operations – Jared began home brewing at UNC-CH before graduating with a degree in microbiology. His lab time was spent daydreaming about joining the craft brewing community. When he moved to Asheville, he enrolled in AB-Tech’s first two-year program for brewing in the US. He did his internship at Catawba in the Morganton brewery, and received his A.A.S degree in 2014, graduating as the valedictorian. His interest in the business side of brewing made him a natural fit to run the retail operations at our Asheville location, where he teaches our continuing education program for the staff.

Ivy Johnson - Manager, Morganton Retail Operations – Ivy began working at Catawba in 2010 and we’ve seen her get married, go to school full time and have two beautiful babies – all while running our tasting room operations in Morganton and growing it every year. She has created one of the best live music venues in WNC. To say the woman can multi-task is an understatement!

Brian Ivey - Manager, Biltmore Village Retail Operations and Marketing Specialist – Brian’s education is in architecture and screenwriting. He’s worked professionally in video production and marketing/communications. “What’s the common thread?” you ask? In a word, “Beer.” Like the Dude’s rug, craft beer has tied the whole thing together. From a “residency” at the Irish pub during an exchange semester in Krakow to pilgrimages to Rochefort and Orval during business travels in Europe, craft beer embodies the passion, creativity, and collaborative communal spirit that represent all the best parts of Brian's previous careers. Brian wears a few hats at Catawba by running our Biltmore Village operations and being our marketing communications specialist.