Q. Tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less. OR in a haiku
A. Laid back and relaxed | Travel for beer and dog parks | Learning all the time
Q. What are your three favorite things?
A. Kansas Basketball, Bacon, and Beer
Q. If beer drinking was your “job” what title would you give yourself?
A. Craft Beer Researcher
Q. What is your first craft beer memory?
A. I was in college and eating at my hometown brewery, Free State Brewing, for the first time as a legal drinker. I had heard some friends on campus talk about how good the Copperhead Pale Ale was so I ordered one. Expecting to be greeted by the near water flavor I was used to drinking at the time I almost gagged on the bitter concoction I had been served. It was way to much for me to take in and I struggled to finish it throughout the meal. I have since learned to appreciate the vast array of beer flavors and can now proudly announce my conversion to hopism.
Q. What’s one of your most memorable craft beer travel related stories?
A. Traveling through Omaha I was able to meet Tyson Arp, the head brewer at Nebraska Brewing Company. As we talked I found out they use volunteers to help bottle their barrel aged batches. It turned out that they were bottling the next day so I signed up.
I ended up being the guy the made sure the labels were on straight and packed them into cases. 1,700 bottles of Melange a Trois later the whole crew was treated to more food and beer than we knew what to do with not to mention I took home two bottles of my hard work. It may not be much, but I felt honored to be a part of the process for a brewery that is making such great beer. Good people at NBC.
Q. What are some of your favorite breweries that you have visited?
A. Facility: Stone Brewing in Escondido, CA. It was one of the first “big” breweries I had visited and it certainly had a WOW factor. The whole place from restaurant to brewery to the beer garden, it was awesome.
Recently: Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, CA. It was just a cool place that had a great local vibe not mention a large beer selection. It also featured one of the more entertaining tours thanks in large part to our tour guide Ryan.
Location: Pelican Pub & Brewery in Pacific City, OR. Located right on the beach in front of Haystack rock you can enjoy award winning beer while watching the sun set into the ocean.
Q. How do you find craft beer when you travel?
A. When Maria and I first started out we relied on the regional Brewing News publications and Google maps. Now that we are meeting beer lovers in practically every city we rely on personal recommendations more than anything. We recently download the Brewery Map iPhone app and have been using that quite a bit lately.
Favorite Beer City to travel to:
A. Fort Collins. I love college towns in general but add a great beer culture in to the mix and I am set. I visited every brewery in Fort Collins on my last trip there in September and they already have new breweries being planned for 2012.
Best Beer State in your opinion:
A. It’s a toss up between Colorado and California by sheer numbers, but I’ll give the edge to Colorado because it was the first on my trip and really endeared me to beer culture.
Brewery you want to visit:
A. Oddly enough I never visited Boulevard Brewery even though I lived less than a hour from for two thirds of my life. I hear they have a great tour and facility.
Tell us about your most memorable brewery visit:
A. Maria and I were visiting some friends in Grand Cayman and found out they had their own brewery (cheaper to make on the island than import). So we walked into Caybrew one day and asked if there was a tour. The lady at the front desk looked around and grabbed the only guy who was in that day. He was in charge of shipping and didn’t know much about brewing but gave us a pseudo tour which included gems like “I think this machine is used for heating up stuff”. After the tour we pretty much drank off the tap for free and chatted with all the locals all afternoon.
Q. What do you look for when deciding what pint to pour next?
A. My mood is huge factor. I kind of go back and forth between hoppy and malty beers, but will always try the fringe beers at a brewery like sours and pepper beers.
Q. What is the most unique beer you’ve enjoyed?
A. I had a maple porter that was filtered through bacon and garnished with a strip of bacon at the home brewers booth at the Omaha Beer Fest.
Q. If you could have dinner and beers with anyone in the craft beer industry, who would it be and where would you go?
A. I think I would like to have some beers with the guys over at Beer and Whiskey Bros. I like the laid back style to their content and they seem pretty down to earth while still embracing beer geekism. I would like to expose them to my favorite brewery so we would eat and drink at Free State Brewing in Lawrence, KS.
Q. Where can we find more about you online? Twitter/Facebook/Website etc.