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.


Katie joined Riggs in 2018 as a bartender, but quickly realized that she wanted to learn more about making beer. She has a great palate for flavors and is a huge asset for sensory training. When she is not on the brewdeck or cleaning a fermenter, she helps out at the bar and plans out the food truck schedule.


Mark joined Riggs as a bartender in 2021. He holds a Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University and worked in the aviation industry for nearly a decade. His passion for good beverages and learning eventually lead to a spot on the brew team. When Mark is not at the brewery he enjoys cycling, camping, and travel.


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.


Jess has been part of the Riggs team since 2017. She started as a part time bartender, but was having way too much fun to go back to teaching. If she’s not working on scheduling, restocking supplies or taking all these awesome photos on our website, you might catch her serving a beer or two. 


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.

Taproom Staff

Matt, Brandon, Kevin, Kirstin, Dee, Natalie, Jessie

Caroline, Abigail, Elizabeth, Katie, Alex, Ashley, Josiah, David, Courtney, Elissa, Jess, Daren, Will, Mark

Not pictured: Katie C., Karl

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: info@riggsbeer.com

The Felines


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.


Nugget is always on patrol. No sane mouse or rabbit comes near his house. He is the athlete in the family. He is also the only cat you can carry on a conversation with.


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!

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