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Parkersburg native brews up success in Australia

Justin Corbitt, a native of Parkersburg and a graduate of Parkersburg High School, was named the 2020 Best Brewer in the Best Brewer Awards sponsored by Beer and Brewer in Australia. He is the son of David and Janet Corbitt of Parkersburg. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — A Parkersburg native has won a brewing award in Australia.

Justin Corbitt in November was named Best Brewer title in the 2020 Beer and Brewer Awards. Corbitt is the head brewer for Deeds Brewing in Glen Iris, Melbourne.

Corbitt, a 2000 graduate of Parkersburg High School, is the son of David and Janet Corbitt of Parkersburg. His career path didn’t begin with brewing.

“No, I started in scrap metal,” Corbitt said. “I then had a brief stint as an accountant for a law firm and a private school sports program manager before settling on brewing.”

Deeds Brewing is an Australian craft brewery started in 2012 as the contract brewer, Quiet Deeds. It became Deeds Brewing and has been in Glen Iris since 2015.

Quiet Deeds is a name of one of its ranges of beers.

“Beer & Brewer” is a leading magazine in Australia about beer and cider that started in 2007.

Mother Janet is proud of her son’s award. The award was made more significant because of the country where it was given, she said.

“It’s quite an accomplishment, especially in a country like Australia that is so devoted to beer,” she said.

Corbitt has lived in Australia since mid-2015. His wife, Erica, is a native of Australia.

After graduation from Parkersburg High, he then went to Penn State University where he graduated in 2005 with a degree in finance and international business and a minor in economics.

“I moved to Pittsburgh and joined an international steel mill services firm,” Corbitt said. “My primary focus was sourcing secondary metals, scrap, for use as a raw material in steelmaking.”

Corbitt was promoted to the head of the Eastern European office in Slovakia in 2007.

“I lived there from 2007 to 2010. From there I joined a Swiss-based trading company and moved to Shanghai, China,” he said. “This is where I met my future wife, who is Australian.”

They moved in 2012 to Singapore and finally in 2015 to Melbourne, Australia.

Corbitt joined Deeds Brewing in September 2018.

His background and interest in brewing goes back to his college days.

“Though I did brew some very bad homebrew with my friends at West Virginia University during our college years, the hobby really went into full swing during my time in Singapore,” Corbitt said. “It was when we moved to Australia that I made a career change and focused entirely on brewing.”

Deeds makes a wide range of beers, such as IPAs, hazy and clear beer, saisons, lagers, imperial stouts and pale ales.

“Our motto at work is ‘We make beer that we want to drink,’ meaning we don’t skimp on raw materials and we focus heavily on the process to ensure the highest quality product on the back end,” Corbitt said.

Corbitt received a master’s in brewing and distilling in 2017 from Heriot Watt University in the United Kingdom. Prior to being the head brewer at Deeds Brewing, he was the head brewer from 2017-2018 at Hawkers Brewing in Melbourne.

Deeds next year will rebrew several of its favorite styles, including Survivor Type, Once More into the Fray and Circling Sharks. It also will launch its tap room and its fruited sour-beer series, Corbitt said.

He and his wife have two children, Kyle, 4, and Lydia, 2. A third, Claire, is expected the first week of January.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.

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