Getting To Know Tanner Littrel
Tanner Littrel is the Craft Spirits Sales Specialist for American Beer Equipment.
He was born in Hastings, Nebraska, located about one and a half hours west of Lincoln, Nebraska and from an early age, Tanner loved all things mechanical.
“I’ve been into cars for as long as I can remember,” Tanner said. “My dad was instrumental in my passion. He taught me how to turn a wrench, fabricate pieces and never give up.”
Tanner even worked on and raced drag cars his senior year of high school, so it was a natural progression when he attended Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska, and obtained a degree in manufacturing engineering.
“Right out of college I joined the Navy,” Tanner said. “For the next five and a half years I worked on H-60F and H-60H helicopters. Those are awesome machines; one is designed to be a submarine hunter, the other is designed to hunt pirates.”
Tanner was stationed in San Diego, California, and served aboard the air craft carrier the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. The work was tough and rewarding, but never as much as the time his ship spent in Fukushima, Japan.
“That was the longest four months of my life,” Tanner said, “we worked night and day for that entire time while we were working on the Tsunami relief effort in 2010.”
But his service taught him some valuable life lessons, lessons he brought to A.B.E.
“The military gave me a backbone,” Tanner said. “It taught me how to work in stressful situations and still take care of and own what you do. It taught me I deserve to be the best at what I do, and how people deserve to have the best offered to them.”
Patriot Craft Spirits Division™
Tanner started at A.B.E. as an install technician, traveling around the country setting up brewhouses, canning lines and other equipment for customers. When the opportunity arose to get into the craft spirit division, he jumped at the chance.
“A.B.E. has brought the same quality to the Craft Spirits market that they brought to the Craft Beer market,” Tanner said. “Our Patriot craft Still™ was designed by our engineers to be durable, functional and attractive. For many of our customers, their brewhouse and still are the conversation piece of their tasting room, so we understand that every piece of equipment we manufacture needs to be both a work horse, and a showpiece.”
In a unique step, Tanner has also obtained TTB approval to have a functional, experimental still on premise at the Lincoln, Nebraska facility.
“Obtaining the permit was essential to produce equipment at the quality level customers expect from us,” Tanner said. “It allows us to fully test the equipment and research new ideas and technologies; that way, when equipment ships, customers know exactly what they are getting.”
When not pushing the envelope on craft spirit equipment, Tanner enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Kate Bowling.