Growing up in Mishawaka, Indiana, Cody Peczkowski graduated from Penn High School where he wrestled and ran track. He then took a degree in Health & Wellness with a double major in Law & Society from Purdue University. His initial thoughts of becoming a lawyer faded as he found great satisfaction as a corporate personal trainer. A requirement of his degree was to serve a five hundred hour internship which he fulfilled at a Verizon Wireless location in Arizona doing corporate wellness. As luck would have it, a full time corporate wellness job came open as he was finishing his internship. He wound up staying there with Verizon for seven years.
Peczkowski brewed his first beer in college with his business partner (then college roommate and fraternity brother), Pat Mattingly. They used a homebrew system handed down to them by Pat’s dad, Pete who Peczkowski calls the “Patriarch” of the Moontown operation. Although many home brewers’ first batch is often a disaster, theirs was the Into the Void Porter that has survived all this time to be one of Moontown’s regular brews. After finishing school, the fraternity brothers went their separate ways. However, Peczkowski continued his hobby in Arizona where he joined a home brew club and popped into the craft breweries in the area looking to get deeper into the craft. Eventually, he got into Gordon Biersch in Glendale, AZ where he worked part time for a year until a full time position came open. After around three years in Glendale, the company convinced him to move to their Kansas City location as head brewer. A year later he was consulting with the Mattinglys on their Moontown aspirations when serendipity found him again. Gordon Biersch was going to close the KC operation. Although he was offered a job with Gordon Biersch in fabulous Buffalo, New York, Peczkowski elected to go with his old friends at Moontown.
In retrospect, as Peczkowski reflects on all the brews he has coaxed out of the various equipment he has used, a Vanilla Bourbon Russian Imperial Porter stands out above all the others. This was only a five gallon home brew, but clearly very memorable. Professionally, his first successful brew that was truly his, was a variation on a Grand Cru Belgian Wit. The primary variance being that he used no wheat (ordinarily a primary ingredient in a wit bier). He did, however, use the requisite coriander and orange peel along with Belgian wit yeast. A special ingredient for this brew was his addition of 120 pounds of honey which both his head brewer and Director of Brewing Operations felt might be a bit superfluous as they thought it would ferment out of the beer. It was a bit of a personal triumph when they had to admit that the honey added a subtle sweetness to the brew. That this beer was put into the brewery’s distribution channel was a source of great satisfaction to him knowing the number of the people that would be able to enjoy it.
As Peczkowski approaches his craft, he leans more toward the artistic side of things. However, for Moontown’s brews, he considers himself more technical than “free flying.” He sends all of his beer out to a lab for analysis to ensure that the brews are what he wants from a technical standpoint. He got a very good “by the numbers” background from his time in Arizona which instilled in him a very “true to style” mentality. This strong production experience allows him to push the envelope when it comes to recipe design at Moontown. As far as brewing beyond the book, he says, “feel free to call it whatever you want and make whatever you want,” as long as the brew is not going to be billed as a particular known style.
Peczkowski’ brewhouse at Moontown is a 15 barrel, two vessel system manfactured in Canada that cranks out the brew and fills the five 15-barrel fermenters and the eight 15-barrel bright tanks. He has a reverse osmosis water system with a 1,000 gallon holding tank. This allows him to take the relatively pure RO water and add minerals to achieve the water profile needed for a particular beer style.
When Peczkowski is able to get away from the brewery, he enjoys outdoor activities like disk golf and hiking with his wife, Jacqueline. Having recently done some hiking at Eagle Creek Park in Indy, he is looking forward to discovering other Indiana parks. His Arizona rescue dog, Boyd (a mutt, possibly pit-lab) also enjoys hiking but, more especially, the Frisbee. Peckowski and his wife are having a good time checking out all the restaurants and breweries in Indianapolis.
In a very short time, Cody Peczkowski has brewed a great deal of very good beer at Moontown. The word is getting out and on a recent Thursday evening visit, there was a wait to get a table. This should be on your short list of places to experience soon. If Peczkowski happens to be around when you visit, you should ask him about a blast from his past, the Hose Water Porter.