John Palmer

John  Palmer
  • BS Metallurgical Engineering 1987

"It all started with Michelob Dark on tap at the Dog House," says John Palmer '87. When the metallurgy grad moved to California in 1988, he couldn't find a good beer, so he started making his own.

Thus began the current best-selling home-brewing book on

After succeeding in his own brewing attempts, he began to self publish How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time. Brewers Publications discovered him in 2006, and "it sure beats having to worry about shipping and storing boxes and boxes of books in my garage."

The book has remained number one on Amazon for more than a year, has garnered glowing reviews, and is currently in its paperback edition.

Palmer remembers fondly those days at the Douglass House and some special Tech professors: Dick Heckel and Angus Hellawell.

"Those were my toughest classes," he says. "I thought I didn't understand them, but, in my career, I fall back on those classes for how things work."

That career involves product development for 3M, specializing in orthotics as a senior materials engineer. The exciting part, he says, is introducing new products to the market.

His wife, Naomi, is an electrical engineer working at the Jet Propulsion Lab near the California home they have made with children Jessica, Daniel, and Michael.

Excerpted from Michigan Tech Magazine, Winter 2008-2009