"Chief Operating Officer | Beer Lover"
Michael LaCross was raised in the East Bay. After finishing high school, Michael moved to San Diego where he attended San Diego State University and graduated with a degree in Urban Studies. It was in San Diego where Michael’s love and appreciation of craft beer began. On his 21st birthday, he was given a home brew kit and began making beer on his apartment stove top. What started out as a hobby, soon became an obsession that would become a huge part of his life. At first he was brewing once a month but quickly added more fermenters and it turned into a weekly activity and would continue to be so for many years afterwards.
Michael spent 10 years in San Diego. To help with paying for college, and some extra spending money, Michael worked at various bars and clubs. He was exposed to the booming beer culture that exists in San Diego and fell in love with the craft beer movement. In his free time, he would tour breweries to learn about the beers he carried at work, and because of his own passion for making beer at home. At that point, however, making beer for a living was not a career path he envisioned for himself. He saw himself eventually becoming an owner of a bar.
After 10 years of living in San Diego, Michael found himself maxed out in terms of his potential at work and started to look for a bar to call his own. His search took him back to Northern California where he would find Schooner’s Grille & Brewery in Antioch. It provided a perfect opportunity to combine his experience in the bar industry with his passion for making beer. Michael and his father, David, partnered up and purchased Schooner’s Grille & Brewery where Michael oversaw the operations of the restaurant and worked with Craig Cauwels, the Brewmaster. They entered the California State Fair Craft Beer competition, won two golds, a bronze and were named California’s Brewery of the Year. Later they medaled at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival. It was at that point in time that Michael and Craig made the decision to leave behind the time consuming stresses of operating the restaurant to team up, scale up, and focus on their real passion – brewing beer. They moved the brewery to Tracy and rebranded it Morgan Territory Brewing.
Michael’s formal title is Chief Operating Officer, though he wears many hats and is involved in nearly every aspect of the business. His favorite things include making beer, drinking beer, and talking about beer……. pretty much anything that involves craft beer. Introduce yourself to him when you come and visit the tap room or you see him at an event … just make sure you have a beer in your hand when you do….. he doesn’t trust people who don’t love craft beer.
Age: Capricorn of the early 80s
Likes: Beer, ocean, sunsets, long walks on the beach, spicy stuff
Dislikes: Oxidation, sulfur, hipsters
Favorite Song: Sports Radio
Favorite Beer: Beer
Favorite Food: Food
Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption