Our Brew Crew
Matt Riggs has a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Systems Management from the University of Illinois. He worked at the 365-year-old Brauhaus Faust in Miltenberg, Germany before completing his German brewmaster certification at Doemens Akademie in Muich, Germany. He’s in charge of beer production, sales, and distribution.
Darin Riggs has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois and is a gradaduate of UC Davis’ Master Brewer Program. He worked in an Anheuser-Busch brewery in Northern California before moving back to the family farm in Illinois. His focus is on process automation, maintenance, packaging, and farming.
Austin joined Riggs in February of 2021. He got into beer by homebrewing with his Dad. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinematography from SIU Carbondale and has been brewing around the greater Midwest since 2012.
Lance joined Riggs in 2021. Lance was trained as a journeyman meat cutter, so he came with plenty of experience in food safety. For years he has trained his pallet in the Riggs Taproom and joined the production team wanting to learn and experience the other side of the glass wall.
Ken joined Riggs in July 2022, shifting from labwork to lagers. He has a PhD in Microbiology from the U of I, where he was a post-doctoral researcher for five years. Ken started homebrewing beer in graduate school and was excited to learn a new set of skills at Riggs. At home, he enjoys tabletop and video games, travel, and cooking. His favorite non-microbes are his wife and their three cats.
Zach joined Riggs in 2021. When Zach isn’t at Riggs, he enjoys smoking meats on his grill, riding his motorcycle, hanging with his fiancée or his dog Ruby. His favorite Riggs beers are the Kolsch and the Helles and loves learning something new in the brewery every day.
Our Taproom Team
Caroline Riggs grew up in Hardheim, Germany. Her brother came to Champaign County as an exchange student and eventually introduced her to her husband Matt. She went to business school in Germany and is putting her education to use managing the taproom and office. She is in charge of human resources and keeps the books in order.
Whitney grew up on a grain farm in Illinois and graduated from U of I, but lived in Texas until 2021, when she traded in her boots to return to her Illinois roots. She joined the Riggs team in February 2023 and works wherever needed, from serving in the Tap Room to mowing the Beer Garden. She loves dogs, things that sparkle, and every song by Motley Crue.
Abigail joined the Riggs team in 2020. Just as she started, the world stopped. She navigated curbside, helped out on the canning line, and other odd jobs that she hadn’t signed up for. Since reopening she’s back to work in the taproom. If she’s not behind the bar she’s behind the scenes scheduling food trucks and live music, restocking supplies, or petting a cat.
David got talked into moving to Urbana by his girlfriend who is attending vet school at the UofI. The Riggs Beergarden was the perfect spot to hang out with friends and dogs. So he soon made the career change to be able to hang out here all the time. With his life guard experience, he is happy to help if you ever find yourself drowning in beer.
Ken, Caroline, Luis, Elizabeth, Abigail, Jess, Jess, Darcey, Katie, Dee, David, Britney, Emily, Graham, Will, Emily, Whitney, Jeremy, James
Not pictured: Mike, Christian, Natalie, Victoria, Andrew, Jessica, Rachel, Lora, Casey, Kenya
We’re always looking for talented people to join our team. If you are interested in working in the brewery or taproom, send a resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dunkles is our original brewery cat. This old, polite gentleman likes to go for long walks throughout SE Urbana. If you catch him in the right mood, he’s a cuddle machine.
Millie-girl is our princess. You’ll find her sitting on one of the heating blankets in her house, or stealing food from the boys. But they are ok with it, ’cause she’s so cute!