Omega Yeast produces fresh, high quality and pitch-ready liquid yeast for Probrewers and Homebrewers. We're a dedicated crew located in Chicago and St. Louis—a handful of microbiologists, homebrewers, professional brew staff and craft beer fans who have made it our express purpose to make brewing easier and better for everyone.

Be Fresh

We believe the best yeast is the freshest yeast. That's why our Probrew pitches are always custom made-to-order, and delivered the date you need them. And Homebrewers can find a selection of our vigorously healthy yeast at a local homebrew shop near you.

Be Curious

We believe in experimentation, innovation and questioning the status quo, which is why we produce over 75 strains, including common workhorse varieties and several unique ones that you can't find anywhere else. Our proprietary propagation method generates metabolically strong yeast cells, with consistent fermentation and optimized cell counts.

Be Helpful

As much as we love our yeast, we're just as proud of our people and service. We promise to make it easy for you to focus on brewing because we’re always here for you. Check out our resources or email us any questions—we're here to help.

We hope to work with you!


Lance Shaner + Mark Schwarz


"We really love working with Omega. Every order is delivered on time, the yeast is always fresh and reliable, plus their staff is super knowledgeable and always willing to help.”

Sean Nolan, Honest Weight Artisan Beer, Orange, MA

"Lance and crew at Omega are great, new place looks fantastic and the yeast is quality. Keep up the good work guys."

Cam Horn, Elmhurst Brewing Co., Chicago, IL

"I can’t thank you guys enough for providing us with yeast. You have reduced my stress levels dramatically. Not that you guys need it by now but I have been throwing out recommendations left and right. I look forward to trying out more strains as time goes on."

Jonathon Mullens, Broad Ripple BrewPub

"Excellent customer service, yeast strains, viability and health of product. Omega helps me make the best beer possible, and I look forward to using them in the years to come as my brewery grows. Via Kviek!"

Eric Walker, Devil and the Deep Brewery, Galveston, TX

Not only is Omega at the forefront of innovation in yeast, but Lance, Mark, and team are extremely dedicated to providing customer service of the utmost quality. There seems to be a strong relationship between trends in craft beer and new products coming from Omega, be it with the use of their Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, or Lactobacillus strains.

Austin Myers, Single Speed Brewing Co., Waterloo, IA
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    Adi Hastings

    Orders Manager

    Adi was Omega’s very first employee in 2014, and he holds our record for most years of homebrewing experience! He’s a Portland, OR native and a former anthropology professor. He enjoys reggae covers of 1980’s hits and Turkish music, and he is a father of 4 (including twins!).

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    Taylor Neal

    Maintenance Manager

    Taylor, an Arizona native, is our Wort Production Master. You can typically find him manning the kettle, operating the forklift or fixing something. He spends his free time remodeling his home and teaching his daughter Lincoln Jane how to help.

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    Paige Smith

    Yeast Propagation Technician


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    Richard Ibarra

    Yeast Propagation Technician

    Richard is a Chicago native and recently made the career change to something he’s passionate about - beer.  He enjoys attending concerts and beer fests (obviously) and taking care of his pet tarantula, Sparkles.

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    Keith Lacy

    Assistant Production Manager

    Keith is and has been a lot of things in his day, but hirsute is not one of them. When not producing for Omega he spends time with his wife having nostalgia for their imaginary child, Spontaneous Outings. S.O. Lacy was supplanted by Lucy, a real dog who pretends she doesn’t understand what you are saying even though she totally did, like, three minutes ago. Also, beer is nice.

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    Matt Glazier

    Production Manager

    Matt makes the wort that all his coworkers dump down the drain. He makes sure it is nice and safe wort, but every time they just pour it down the drain. It makes the yeast happy at least. Also, he enjoys coffee and line drinking!

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    Bianca Alley

    Lab Manager

    Bianca was born and raised in California, and quickly found a home at Omega after moving to Chicago. She’s our self-proclaimed “Queen of the Lab” and is a master at operating lab production. She loves homebrewing, candid photography, and her pride and joy is a puppy named Homer whom she’s trying to turn into the office dog (it’s not working out).

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    Demi Grounds

    Shipping Manager

    Demi was born and raised in the western Chicago suburbs and came to Omega with some fantastic brewery experience. In her spare time, you'll often find her researching/identifying plants, insects, fungi and various creepy crawlies. Her favorite creeper is her greenbottle blue tarantula (creatively) named Blue. She also prides herself on her postcard collection which she's attained by taking part in an international postcard exchange called Postcrossing.

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    Nick Greska

    Homebrew Specialist

    After earning a degree in Theatre, Nick explored woodworking and guitar construction. He now spends his free time experimenting with food and beer recipes. He loves trying to learn something new every day. He loves operating the forklift for shipping and receiving tasks, and when it’s really time to focus strongly on large tasks, he loves to play the Bangles Greatest Hits and Nena 99 Luftballons albums.

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    Lauren Fuentes

    Assistant Lab Manager

    Lauren is a Chicago native who came to us from the pharmaceutical industry. She enjoys homebrewing, cooking, making kombucha and sourdough bread (yay yeast!). Lauren is also an avid runner and she has a loud and loving cat named Tiny, and a spunky bearded dragon named Ziggy.

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    Laura Burns

    Director of Research & Development

    Laura earned her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Vanderbilt University, where she studied cellular responses to stress in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. From her Ph.D. work, she started her first role in the brewing industry as Head Brewer and Director of Quality Assurance at Tennessee Brew Works in Nashville before joining Great Central in Chicago and now as Omega Yeast's Director of R&D!

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    Nik Allen

    Process Improvement Manager

    Nik (not short for anything, just simply…Nik) was born and raised in Chicago. He volunteers every year for CHIDITAROD and raises money to support hunger advocacy. He plays the guitar and piano in his free time and occasionally plays in a band called the HOT COPS!

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    Danielle Sommer

    Sales Strategy Manager

    Danielle is Dublin born and St. Louis raised. She strategizes with Katie and Mark on the St. Louis team. Other than deep gazes at data, she loves experiencing the world through food and drink, and first fell in love with beer while working in the Czech Republic. Her weekends are ruled by epic craft beer fueled craft projects and podcasts. She’s excited to learn more by test brewing with these yeastie geniuses.

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    Nicole Johnson

    Director of Human Resources

    Nicole spends her time supporting the administrative side of the lab. She is originally from the Detroit area. Nicole enjoys reading, going to shows, listening to The Best Show, and spending time with friends.

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    Katie Steht

    Brand Manager

    Katie is a St. Louis native and works out of our St. Louis business office.  Her hobbies include baking, napping, watching Teen Mom, and hanging out with her husband and toddler daughters, Lucy and Gwennie. Katie jumpstarts her day with a Nesquick chocolate milk every morning, and has for the past 15 years.

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    Chris Bernardo

    Production Technician

    Chris (Chicago born, suburb raised) has been home brewing since 2013 and recently decided to make a career change into the craft beer industry. When he's not brewing, he's home cooking, pwning noobs while gaming, hanging with his pup Ralphie, or enjoying the occasional shower beer.

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    Haley Luke

    Customer Engagement Specialist

    Haley is a proud St. Louis native and loves seeing the craft beer world grow both locally and nationally. When she’s not strategizing with the business team, she enjoys going to festivals and events with friends, home cooking meals, traveling and exploring new brews, and walking around her neighborhood with her spoiled doggo and partner in crime, Arlo and Tim respectively.

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    Brett Koenig

    Chief Technology Officer

    Brett is a St. Louis native, and our resident computer science mastermind. In his free time, he plays social kickball (too much for a grown adult) and takes care of his pet Shiba Inu named Calypso. His favorite Omega Yeast strain is All the Bretts, obviously.

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    Jarrell Wimberly

    Production Assistant

    Jarrell is very silly and friendly. He loves to stay active playing sports (football, bowling, tennis) and watching them as well. He is a movie, tv show, anime, filmmaking, video game playing enigma who loves BEER! IPAs are his favorite and prefer the beer to be 5% or higher!

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    Alex Lanigan

    Yeast Propagation Technician

    Author, poet, artist, designer, woodworker, music snob, video game connoisseur, year-round bicyclist, computer nerd, beer lover. Alex sort of just knows a little about a lot.

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    Alex Smith

    Yeast Propagation Technician

    Alex has got a real fondness for fungi. He’s a microbiologist from Virginia Commonwealth University, who spent his undergrad researching wild yeast. Now he enjoys the stranger side of beer, always on the look out for something tart and funky.

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    Mike Gretz

    Yeast Propagation Technician

    Mike is our resident Master Brewer with a diploma from the World Brewing Academy. He grew up in Philadelphia, studied music in college, and plays in the band Secondhand Sausage. He loves reading on the beach in the summer months, and he has an orange munchkin cat named April Mae.

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    Max Sterbenc

    Homebrew Specialist

    Max attended Northern Michigan University and majored with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography. Although, his art focus changed when he became an Assistant Brewer shortly after graduation. He's been brewing ever since and is still slinging brews over at Rabid Brewing in Homewood as their Brewer. He loves brewing with Omega's yeast strains, especially the Norwegian Kveiks. He is also a death metal aficionado and video game junkie. Cheers!

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    Stephen Volkert

    Production Technician

    Stephen is a graduate of the University of Illinois and an avid homebrewer. He is also a karaoke superstar as well as Omega's resident breakdance expert.

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    Samuel Webb

    Director of Operations

    Samuel is a Wisconsinite turned Illinoisan. Having worked in macro, regional, and micro breweries in Milwaukee and Chicago over the past five years, Samuel knows beer at all its scales. He holds a degree in microbiology and can count cells in his sleep—but he really just likes hanging with his pets and mowing the lawn.

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    Lisa Beck

    Production Office Coordinator

    Lisa is a Chicago native with a degree in Photography and was previously the GM of a brewery. She has two dogs and a cat, but would likely have a horde of both if possible. She counts her time in between exploring new restaurants as "filler", and can be found sweating onions and garlic, preemptively, for the next Bon Appetit video that sparks her fancy. Hidden talent: knowing actors by movie, but never, and I repeat never, by name.

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    Sammie Williams

    Production Assistant

    Sammie was born and raised in the St. Louis region and is a recent transplant to Chicago. Sammie has bounced around between the brewing and cocktail bartending industry since turning 21 and is excited to have found himself on the Omega team. When he's not at work you can find him working on his liqueur making blog, drinking lagers, or twiddling knobs on synthesizers.

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    Bill McFarland

    Social Media Specialist

    Bill, a fellow beer and coffee enthusiast, works with the business team on implementing social media strategy. If he’s not at a brewery, coffeeshop, or diner, he can typically be found reading with his 85lb rescue pitbull, Chicken Nugget.

  • Headshot Job Opening

    Now Hiring: Production Assistant

    Chicago Lab