Leveraging a successful 15 year brewing career, Brewmaster Steve Altimari embarked on the formation of High Water Brewing, with final licensing and production commencing in March 2011. “High Water” being a playful interpretation of Altimari from Italian, “Alta” meaning High and “Mare” meaning Sea or Water.
Inspired by the most respected and creative brewing practices and styles around the world, Steve’s love of beer and unbridled passion for all things flavorful have led to a line of products that represent the very best of the best. Assisted by his business partner Barri, with her culinary background and prowess in flavorology, they create a product portfolio that has a little something for everyone. From the classic styles to the esoteric. “Unique Flavors for the Curious Palate”.
Leading the Sales and Distribution Team is Mike Peasley, another seasoned veteran of the brewing world with a deep background in both brewing and sales. High Water Beers are now distributed in Northern, Central and Southern California, Nevada, Washington State, Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, New York State, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, Japan, Taipei, Brazil, Spain, Denmark, Greece, Sweden, Switzerland, Rome, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Australia and many other new locations around the world.
Keep an eye out for High Water products at a craft beer location near you!
Steve Altimari, Brewmaster/President
After a 12 year career in the Silicon Valley High Tech world, Steve decided on a career change. He attended the American Brewers Guild in Davis, California and graduated in the fall of 1995. He then took the helm as brewmaster at Valley Brewing Company until June 2010, including ownership during 1996 and 1997.
Over the years Steve has accumulated many accolades and awards for his brewing. He was awarded the 1st Place Gold Medal at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival for his Barley Wine. He also won Gold at the Great American Beer Festival for Campfire Stout twice, in 2014 and again in 2016 as well a Bronze medal at the 2018 World Beer Cup for this beer. Aphotic Imperial Porter took home the 3rd place Bronze medal at the 2014 GABF. He also earned a 2nd place Silver Medal at the 2010 World Beer Cup for his English Dark Mild. At the local level, Steve has garnered over 75 medals at the California State Fair and at the county level.
His brewing style represents the best of several worlds. He is comfortable brewing classic English style ales, traditional German Lagers, Belgian Abbey Ales as well as the unique Belgian-style Sour. Steve also has extensive knowledge and experience with barrel-aged and blended beers. He is ecstatic to have his experience and love of beer back to the market and into your glass. Cheers!
Barri Altimari, Co-Owner and CFO: Chief Flavor Officer
Having earned a degree in Psychology and counseling in that field, Barri migrated back to her passion for cooking. She developed recipes for food companies and events on national and local levels in competition, earning many awards and accolades. Her experience as a brewpub owner and many years as a sous and pastry chef have inspired her to create adventurous “food forward” beer flavor profiles. Barri has been one of the driving forces behind High Water’s unique flavor combinations. Her initial idea for a s’more inspired beer led us inevitably to our Campfire Stout.
Mike Peasley, Director of Sales and Distribution
Mike has spent time on both the production world as well as the Sales and Distribution side of the brewing world. Mike cut his teeth in brewing as Head brewer at both the Sacramento and Walnut Creek Pyramid Brewery operations. In addition he brewed at the Pyramid Brewing, Berkeley location. Mike also spent 4 years as brewer at Main Street Brewery in Pleasanton. Mike is a Siebel brewing graduate as well as a draft beer specialist following a stint with Hupp Draft services. Prior to joining High Water Brewing, Mike was the Craft Brand Manager for Markstein Distribution in Antioch, Ca. This well rounded brewing and sales background made Mike the perfect fit for spearheading our move to take the High Water Brewing products and Company Brand to a much larger presence in the craft brewing world.
Kevin J. Sweeney, Legal Counsel/Board Secretary
Kevin is a Northern California native who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974 and the University of California, Hastings School of Law in 1978. Kevin has worked for firms in San Francisco and Chico, California and is currently practicing as a sole practitioner in Chico. In his 32 years of practice, Kevin has been actively involved in numerous corporate and other business formations in California and other jurisdictions. He has also served as an officer and/or director on many for- profit and non-profit ventures. Kevin has provided legal counsel for local craft brewers and is very impressed by the “team” which High Water Brewing has assembled and the fantastic beers that Steve makes. Kevin’s Chico office serves as the corporate headquarters and official mailing address. Sorry no tours or beer available at the Chico address.
Dave Keno, Sales and Marketing Manager
Dave comes to us with many years of sales experience in the wine and spirits Industry. Ranging from restaurant management to Sales Management at Southern Wine and Spirits, along with several District Manager positions at Northern California wineries, Dave realized his true passion lies in the Craft Beer Industry. Dave got his start in the Craft Beer Industry at a small Craft Brewery in Placer County. Dave’s wealth of Sales experience, combined with his passion for the Craft Beer Industry, make Dave an obvious choice for growing the High Water Brand in the Region. Dave has received his level one Cicerone Certification (CBS) and is currently working on attaining his level two: Certified Cicerone. In his personal time, Dave enjoys spending time in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with his Family.
Niel Stender, Social Media and Design
Fresh out of college with a degree in mechanical engineering and a passion for cars, Niel worked for a couple of years at a major automotive company. Next came paint executive, hiring a paint crew and selling residential paint jobs door-to-door. No glory in this (ad)venture, but Niel found his calling in sales and marketing. He immersed himself in the print and media world which led to his current company, WaveTrain Intermedia. Niel’s love of good beer was cultivated with his brother in countless tastings and brewery visits all in the name of “research”. Niel had the pleasure of working with High Water to rebrand Campfire Stout and has since taken on the roles of social media marketing, label design and website management.