Meet our People
RUSSEL TINSLEY, FOUNDER/OWNER/MANAGING MEMBER
Originally hailing from east Tennessee, Russel joined the Navy in 2004 and was later stationed in Hampton Roads, Virginia, where he met his lovely future wife, Rebekah. He joined the Newport News Police Department in 2008 and spent the next seven years serving as a police officer as well as a Navy reservist.
An avid beer lover, Russel has been homebrewing for the last five years and now finally gets to live the dream of making and drinking beer as a profession. He stays busy teaching his toddler son Treyton the finer points of manhood, and his faithful dog Jake is never far from his side.
Russel is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and lifelong Cubs fan, always mixes his cake and ice cream together (weird—we know), and once nearly froze to death while hiking in Iceland.
TONY & ALLISON CARTER, OWNERS/INVESTORS
Well, the story goes that these two (from Peabody, Massachusetts, and Westwood, New Jersey, respectively) met at Boston University when Allison was a freshman and Tony was her teaching assistant. The attraction was mutual, and they’ve now been married for 31 years and have two adult children.
The Carters moved to Newport News in 1992 when Tony was stationed at Langley Air Force Base, and while at Langley he was deployed for Operation Restore Hope. Tony is an orthopaedic surgeon (now retired from the Air Force) and Allison is a special needs pediatric physical therapist.
In their free time, the Carters enjoy golfing, boating, hot yoga, rooting for all things Boston (Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics), competing in mud runs/Spartan races, and vacationing in the Caribbean and Napa Valley. They were adopted by a deaf feral cat named Dexter and a cockatiel named CJ who literally flew into their window.
MIKE DONOVAN, BREWMASTER
Mike hails from East Meadow, New York, but has spent his adult life split between western Massachusetts, central New York and northern Virginia. Along the way, he picked up a Master’s degree and began a Ph.D. program before hanging up his lunchbox and leaving school for the real world.
He bartended on Capitol Hill for a while, and after a stint as a senior operations manager at a nonprofit, gave up the respectable life for a career in brewing. He got his start at 3 Stars Brewing Company in D.C., where he eventually worked his way into recipe development and stewardship of the sour program.
Mike lives part time in Hampton Roads, so weekend sightings of him are rare as he’s typically heading home to see his wife Sarah who lives in northern Virginia with their crazy cat (coincidentally named Russell). If you do ever catch him outside the Oozlefinch, you’ll most likely find him at a Norfolk Tides game or a bar where he has convinced the bartender to turn on the Yankees. He has an aversion but not an allergy to cucumbers, and he met his wife by walking across the room and hitting on her at a women's arm wrestling event in downtown D.C. She was not a competitor.
ROXANNE SAYRE, GENERAL MANAGER
Roxanne is originally from Ohio but moved to Virginia two years ago after spending the last 20 in Detroit, Michigan. She attended Western Michigan University and earned a business degree in accounting.
Roxanne and her husband Ian have two dogs, and they all love to get out and explore the area’s parks, beaches and trails. Their love for the outdoors carries over to their favorite vacation spots, including national parks in the US and Canada. And of course whenever they travel, there’s always time to fit in trips to local breweries, wineries and distilleries!
MICHELE HANSON, TAPROOM MANAGER/EVENTS COORDINATOR
Bio coming soon!
BENJAMIN BAUMANN, ASSISTANT BREWER
Ben is a former Infantry Marine who grew up in the bayous of southern Louisiana. He has the best beard at the Oozlefinch (all hail), and it serves as an inspiration for the rest of us. He has been known to cook a spectacular pan of roasted Brussels sprouts and admits to having an unhealthy obsession with all things LSU.
ANTHONY "DINO" MERENDINO, ASSISTANT BREWER
Dino is our true local talent, born and raised in Yorktown and a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads. He spent three years at CNU, too many weekends at Virginia Tech and worked as a retail manager and technician in the ski and snowboard industry for 13 years.
Dino and his girlfriend Brittney are parents to an awesome, brilliant and athletic six-year-old, and two rescued ferocious felines round off the family. His family’s property on the Shenandoah River is his favorite place to be, and he’s always ready to fish, boat or ski. Go O’s!
RACHEL EDWARDS, BREWERY CHEMIST
Rachel, our resident chemist, came to Hampton Roads by way of Christopher Newport University after growing up in Fauquier County, Virginia. Since joining our team in 2016, she spends her days sciencing our beer, specializing in nerdy pick-up lines and aspiring to be Leslie Knope when she grows up. She loves relaxing on the beach, rooting for the Washington Capitals and hanging out with her boyfriend, Dan, and derpy dog, Harley.
TREYTON TINSLEY (T.N.T.), QUALITY ASSURANCE SPECIALIST
Ladies' man, truck/train/puppy/dinosaur aficionado, aspiring talker, and life of the party. Has the best dance moves on staff.
He might not be the brightest light in the harbor, but it's impossible not to love this gentle giant. Is highly motivated by treats and attention.
Loves to dig, chew and nap. Always ready to play and tends to be sneaky!