Meet the Staff


Jim Hilligan | Owner, Head Brewer
Jim Hilligan
Owner, Head Brewer

Favorite Beer Style: Mid-West IPA
Loves: My wife, my kids, the great state of Michigan, the outdoors and of course, beer!
Favorite Teams: The Lions
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall
Favorite Band/Singer: Too much to pick one
Favorite Movies: Shawshank Redemption and Talladega Nights
Favorite Foods: White Sauce Mac ‘n Cheese and Peas
Can’t Live Without: My family
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Quote: “Life is not tried, it is merely survived. Standing outside the fire.” –Garth Brooks

Kiley Hilligan | Owner, Cicerone Certified Beer ServerKiley Hilligan
Owner, Certified Beer Server

Favorite Beer Style: IPA
Loves: My Husband and two boys, golf, snowboarding and sitting around a campfire
Favorite Teams: Redskins!!
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall
Favorite Band/Singer: Eric Church, Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons
Favorite Movies: The Blind Side, Remember the Titans, Love Actually
Favorite Foods: Popcorn, Goat Cheese and Avocado
Can’t Live Without: Beer, wine, sunglasses and my family
Favorite Holiday: Halloween
Favorite Quote: “Life is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.”

Casey DickersonCasey Dickerson
Taproom Manager

Favorite Beer Style: Stouts & Porters
Loves: I love being outdoors, playing with dogs, and being surrounded by good friends!
Favorite Teams: The one that’s winning
Favorite Time of the Year: Summer!
Favorite Band/Singer: The Lumineers
Favorite Movies: Dirty Dancing, Bridesmaids, & The Breakfast Club!
Favorite Foods: Sushi, cookies, pizza, and strawberry shortcake
Can’t Live Without: Family, friends, & good food!
Favorite Holiday: The 4th of July
Favorite Quote: “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing everyday.” -Winnie the Pooh

Alex SchraubenAlex Schrauben

Favorite Beer Style: Black IPA’s
Loves: My wife, my family, sports, and being on water
Favorite Teams: MSU, Detroit teams
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall
Favorite Band/Singer: Hootie and the Blowfish
Favorite Movies: Animal House, Rocky series (except Rocky V), Godfather
Favorite Foods: Pizza, sandwiches, potato chips
Can’t Live Without: Breathing and food
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
Favorite Quote: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” -Albert Einstein

Ryan JohnstonRyan Johnston

Favorite Beer Style: Stouts
Loves: God, Family, Friends, Country
Favorite Teams: Lions (yes I know) and MSU
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall (tailgating)
Favorite Band/Singer: Classic Rock, too many to name
Favorite Movies: Spaceballs & Lord of the Rings
Favorite Foods: Pizza and Wings
Can’t Live Without: Adventure
Favorite Holiday: Super Bowl
Favorite Quote: “That’s what she said”

Anthony KleinAnthony Klein

Favorite Beer Style: Sours
Loves: Hunting, my truck, my dogs, and woodworking
Favorite Teams: Chicago Blackhawks and the Michigan State Spartans
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall
Favorite Band/Singer: Granger Smith
Favorite Movies: Step Brothers, Top Gun, and Toy Story
Favorite Foods: Burgers and Ice Cream
Can’t Live Without: Music
Favorite Holiday: Independence Day
Favorite Quote: “I reserve my right to feel uncomfortable, reserve my right to be afraid. I make mistakes and I am humbled every step of the way. I want to be a better person. I want to know the master plan. Cast your stones, cast your judgement, you don’t make me who I am.” – A Day To Remember

Anthony KleinChelsea Pline

Favorite Beer Style: Sours
Loves: Socializing, Basset Hounds, Porch Sitting, Cornhole and Golf
Favorite Teams: Detroit Tigers, Lions, Grand Rapids Griffins, and MSU
Favorite Time of the Year: Deer Hunting Season
Favorite Band/Singer: Eric Church and Ashley McBryde
Favorite Movies: Lion King and Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Foods: Popcorn, Nachos and Pot Roast with carrots
Can’t Live Without: My family and sweatshirts
Favorite Holiday: Opening Day
Favorite Quote: “I ain’t here for a long time, I’m here for a good time” – George Strait

Dan BlondeDan Blonde

Favorite Beer Style: IPAs/Sours
Loves: My Fiancee, Family, Friends, Traveling, Music
Favorite Teams: Detroit Red Wings, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Tigers
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall
Favorite Band/Singer: Foo Fighters, The Black Keys
Favorite Movies: Star Wars
Favorite Foods: Pizza, Mexican
Can’t Live Without: Beer, Hockey
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Quote: “Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”

Marin PlineMarin Pline

Favorite Beer Style: I’m more of a cider person, but I like sours too.
Loves: My family and our dog, Poppy, my boyfriend, my friends, game shows, and the great state of Michigan.
Favorite Teams: MSU Spartans, Detroit Tigers and Lions, and Lake Superior State Lakers
Favorite Time of the Year: Spring and Fall
Favorite Band/Singer: I have so many favorites, like Elton John and Queen to Bon Iver and Taylor Swift.
Favorite Foods: Pizza, Nachos, and Mac and Cheese
Can’t Live Without: My family and friends, music to sing along/dance, and cheesy rom-coms to make me smile
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
Favorite Quote: “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” Bill Nye the Science Guy *Bill! Bill! Bill!

Ariel DavidsAriel Davids

Favorite Beer Style: NE IPA’s, Stouts, Porters
Loves: Harry Potter, my family, my dog Finn, reading, coffee, golf, soccer, and meeting new people.
Favorite Teams: GVSU (Go Lakers!), MSU, Tigers, Lions
Favorite Time of the Year: Late Summer/Early Fall
Favorite Band/Singer: Thomas Rhett and Twenty-One Pilots
Favorite Movies: Harry Potter (all of them), Remember the Titans, Frozen
Favorite Foods: Hot dogs, mac and cheese, pizza, cookies
Can’t Live Without: My family, friends, and dogs
Favorite Holiday: Christmas!
Favorite Quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” -Wayne Gretzky

April NickolsApril Nickols

Favorite Beer Style: Fruity & Cream Ales
Loves: God, Family, and Camping
Favorite Teams: MSU, Detroit Lions & Tigers
Favorite Time of the Year: Camping season: why not three great Holidays to share with family and friends around a bonfire (Memorial Day to Labor Day)
Favorite Band/Singer: Love all music; if have to narrow it down: Prime & Y2Kountry, 60s, 70s, 80s Hits (mostly Motown & Billy Joel)
Favorite Movies: Sucker for musicals: so currently favorite movie is The Greatest Showman until better musical or Disney Live Movie.
Favorite Foods: Not picky: But favorite is summer potlucks, love all salads and meats, desserts, etc. When everyone brings their best dishes to pass.
Can’t Live Without: Prayer(s), God, Family & Friends, and good music
Favorite Holiday: Christmas, without Christmas, winter would be extra boring.
Favorite Quote: “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you….” Luke 6:31

Lauren BrownLauren Brown

Favorite Beer Style: Sours
Loves: Family, friends, and my fur babies
Favorite Teams: University of Michigan
Favorite Time of the Year: Summer
Favorite Band/Singer: Chris Stapleton
Favorite Movies: Happy Gilmore and Dodgeball
Favorite Foods: Chips and Guacamole
Can’t Live Without: Coffee
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Quote: “When life gets blurry, adjust your focus.”

Kara ShawKara Shaw

Favorite Ice Cream: Moose Tracks or Mint Chip
Loves: I love music, my family and my two dogs!
Favorite Teams: Team USA! I love the Olympics!
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall
Favorite Band/Singer: Taylor Swift
Favorite Movies: The Sound of Music and Any Nicholas Sparks movie
Favorite Foods: Tacos and Ice Cream
Can’t Live Without: Sunsets, thrifting, and photography
Favorite Holiday: Fourth of July
Favorite Quote: “And somehow, after everything, she still bloomed the way she was meant to.”

Ryan SimonRyan Simon
Assistant Brewer

Favorite Beer Style: Midwest IPA & NE IPA
Loves: My wife, family, friends, sports, hunting, fishing, snowboarding
Favorite Teams: Michigan State Spartans, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall
Favorite Band/Singer: A Day To Remember and Eric Church
Favorite Movies: Goodfellas, Braveheart, Friday Night Lights
Favorite Foods: Thai, BBQ, pizza, sushi
Can’t Live Without: Family, friends, sports, music, and beer.
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving or Christmas
Favorite Quote: “It ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.”

Amber FogartyAmber Fogarty

Favorite Beer Style: The seltzer or wine kind
Loves: Coffee, traveling, fitness
Favorite Teams: Not a huge sports follower, but love a good underdog story
Favorite Time of the Year: Summer, hands down, no doubt about it, period
Favorite Band/Singer: FLEETWOOD MAC! I’ve seen them in concert eight times (Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal), and Little Big Town, who I consider to be the Fleetwood Mac of country music.
Favorite Movies: Dirty Dancing, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, 16 Candles, Stand by Me, Step Brothers, and Forrest Gump
Favorite Foods: Coffee, traveling, fitness, my awesome friends and family
Can’t Live Without: Family, friends, sports, music, and beer.
Favorite Holiday: I don’t get too geeked up about holidays, but Halloween provides some good entertainment
Favorite Quote: “Grow through what you go through.”

John BeckettJohn Beckett
The Man Behind the Menu

It was an honor to join the CBC dream from the very beginning in June of 2018. I kickstarted our culinary cravings with house favorites such as the Ham & Jalapeño sandwich, The Bib sandwich, and our signature Beer Cheese with mash sticks. Those classics have lasted and with the undertaking of house-smoked barbecue, I was excited to take on the task of expanding the menu.

I credit my culinary discipline to my time opening corporate restaurants. The learned structure and organization allows me to utilize a small staff within our limited kitchen space effectively and expeditiously to satisfy our guests. My passion for creating delicious food comes from wanting to share my culinary experience to enhance the overall brewery experience. Unique plates like the Pork Tacos and Chicken Nachos combine flavors that excite the palate and leave customers wanting another bite or a sip of delicious brew.

When I’m off the clock, I love playing guitar, camping, and barbequing for my friends and family. You’d be hard pressed to find me without my adorable Australian Shepherd sidekick, Boba, but even he knows not to bother me during the NBA season. I’d like to sign off with a thank you to our ConfluxCity Community for always being adventurous with your palates and for joining us time and time again!

Stephen SherenStephen Sheren

I’ve always had a passion for cooking and I appreciate ConfluxCity’s unique space where I can expand my knowledge in the kitchen. My previous experience at other local restaurants helped me develop great tools and methods that I brought to CBC’s kitchen, and our eclectic menu allows me to learn new techniques and recipes.

My ideal dish to cook is chicken and mushrooms with a balsamic vinegar and cream sauce as it’s easy to make and delicious! Tacos are hands down my favorite food to eat—anytime, anywhere—and I believe that any day can be made better with a nicely brewed stout and a Fast and Furious marathon.

Marc PenaMarc Pena

Throughout my childhood I learned to appreciate the cooking of my family with our Mexican background initially sparking my interest in Hispanic ingredients and flavor profiles.

As I grew to enjoy preparing meals myself, I loved recreating my uncle’s specialty, Arroz con Gandules, which is a Puerto Rican rice dish famously shared at my family gatherings. My family is my highest priority in life and I can’t imagine where I’d be without their influence and support.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday as we get to share a meal together and remember to express gratitude for one another. Beyond my wonderful family, my other joys include seafood of any kind (especially seafood boils), the Ohio Buckeyes (don’t hate), and old school R&B/Rap.

I’m excited to be a part of ConfluxCity’s kitchen crew and I look forward to a future of growth and creativity in the company. Whether it’s cooking at work or at home, I always put my best dish forward and strive to give my consumers a wonderful experience. My favorite quote to live by is, “No matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep ya head up…and handle it.” -2Pac

Food Runners

  • Maddalynn Meyers
  • Hailee Lay
  • Kaelyn Bayless
  • Amy Shaw
  • Alivia Huhn
  • Emma Honsowitz (not pictured)
  • Bella Myers (not pictured)

Staff Photos Credit: Thank you Maddi Kempa!