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June 5, 2008


Big shout-out to great new sponsor DC United! Don't miss the soccer event of the summer: United v. the LA Galaxy and David Beckham. Sunday, June 29. Tickets on sale now! 


We love all of our assignments here at Bisnow, but the one to interview Matt Fleischer, CEO of Silver Spring-based Hook & Ladder Brewing, was circled on the calendar. It got even better when Matt asked if we wanted to do an afternoon beer tasting.


Hook & Ladder started in San Francisco in 1999 when Matt's brother Rich started brewing beer in his kitchen. Matt left the D.C. area to help launch the business before the two relocated to Silver Spring. "To be honest, I knew little of the business world," Matt tells us, "so I got my MBA at Maryland to get a better idea." It worked. The beer's sold in 12 states, and they've already outsold last year.


That's Matt tasting a pale ale during a blind taste test, just one of the perks of the job that features three taps in the office. The company sells three beers—Golden Ale, Lighter, and Backdraft Brown—and is looking to expand. The name of the company is a tribute to firefighters; Rich, the brewmaster, has spent 15 years as a volunteer firefighter and is currently with the Bethesda Rescue Squad. In fact, the company donates a penny from every pint and a quarter from every case to assist injured firefighters. 


Everyone in Federal IT knows Phil Kiviat and Rob Guerra, partners in Guerra Kiviat Associates, a business-to-government consulting firm that features all of two full-time employees who both work from home. "The only thing we agree on is how to help our clients," says Phil, who we met up with at his home away from home, above. Rob handles all things military, such as the Army Information Tech Services - Small Business (ITS-SB) opportunity that will provide $400 million in government IT contracts, while Phil, who's been doing this kind of stuff since he worked on President Carter's data processing reorganization project in 1978, handles the rest.


Rob, pretending to play the piano at the Market Street Grill in Reston, is a workout fanatic who finds time to use a recumbent bike each day. He jokes that it's the only time he actually reads—and even then he keeps it strictly to RFPs. "The last book I read was 'Joe Namath: High-Flying Quarterback'" Rob says, we think jokingly. Naturally, Phil is the polar opposite: He can be found reading just about every second he's not working or spending with his grandkids, and actually wrote two books on simulation programming language.

Send story tips to Dave Stegon: David@Bisnow.com or 703-674-7718.



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