Born in Guadalajara Mexico, Walter Ornelas grew up in the Pilsen community of Chicago in the late 70’s and 80’s. He attended Morgan Park High School on Chicago’s southside and UIC in downtown Chicago where he was introduced to the arts.
These environments, to which he credits much of his inspiration and taste in rich and full bodied beers, exposed Walter to many different cultures and backgrounds at a young age. Upon graduation from UIC he worked at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.
Craft beer became a passion for Walter, but it wasn’t until a few years later that a friend invited to check out his home brewing setup. Inspired, he picked up a clone kit at a local homebrew shop, and off to brew he went. After that initial session, he caught the bug, and brewing became an obsession. Six months and 15 different brews later he was on his way to mastering his craft. Over time, his small setup on the stove has upgraded to all grain batches spanning the full spectrum of aroma, flavor and texture.
Partnering with the Richert Brother’s to form Banging Gavel Brews has allowed Walter to experiment and expand his appreciation for crafting unique beers on an even bigger scale. Follow us on our social media pages to keep up with what’s brewing.