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Meet the Beer Travelers: Nathan and Jen



Q. Tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less. OR in a haiku

A. See Jen and Nate drink
See Jen and Nate travel far
See Jen and Nate eat

Q. What are your three favorite things?

A. Craft beer, food, traveling

Q. If beer drinking was your “job” what title would you give yourself? If beer drinking is your job, tell us more!

A. Entry-level craft beer quality control technicians

Q. Tell us about your website:

A. We started Brewventures in Food to chronicle places we visited, the beers we’ve drank, and the food we’ve enjoyed. We keep the site as much for ourselves to look back on as for others to keep track of us. We also hope to provide food/beer recommendations for folks who may be visiting these same areas. It has really opened us up to new types of beers and opened our eyes to different cuisines. We are always looking for suggestions of places to visit and we usually post on facebook when we are going someplace new.

Q. Why do you primarily travel?

A. In the beginning, most of our travel was work-related but lately most of our trips have been mini-vacations so we really try to make the most of our short time in new places.

Q. How long have you been seeking out craft beer when you travel? What made you want to seek out craft beer when you travel? What was your first craft beer travel memory?

A. Our search for the best beer correlated with my beginning to homebrew 3 years ago, As we started traveling we had the opportunity to try the best local breweries, and that got us hooked. Our first craft beer adventure was a Saturday tour/ party at Rahr & Son’s (Ft. Worth, TX) a weekly party with live music and terrific beers.

Q. Where all have you been? What breweries have you visited?

A. All our brewery visits have been within the U.S., though we hope to change that someday. We have been to: Franconia Brewing Co. (McKinney, TX), Rahr & Sons Brewing (Ft. Worth, TX), Abita (Abita Springs, LA), Nebraska Brewing Co. (Papillion, NE), Tommyknocker (Idaho Springs, CO), Boulder Beer Co. (Boulder, CO), Walnut Brewery (Boulder, CO), Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery (Boulder, CO), Santa Fe Brewing Co. (Santa Fe, NM), Empyrian Brewing Co. (Lincoln, NE), Marble Brewing Co. (Santa Fe, NM), McMenamins (Edgefield, OR), Rogue (Eugene, OR), Deschutes (Bend, OR), Pyramid Brewing Co. (Portland, OR, Berkely, CA), Lucky Labrador (Portland, OR), Kona Brewing Co. (Kailua-Kona, HI), Big Island Brewhaus (Waimea, HI), River City Brewing (Wichita, KS), Townhall Brewing Co. (Minneapolis, MN), The Herkimer (Minneapolis, MN), Upstream Brewing Co. (Omaha, NE), Rockbottom Brewery (Omaha, NE), Gordon Biersch (Kansas City, MO, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA), Crescent City Brewhouse (New Orleans, LA), Springfield Brewing Co. (Springfield, MO).

Q. What do you look for in a beer destination when you travel?

A. Variety. Mostly, we go to bars/brewpubs so are looking for a nice selection of craft beers to choose from as well as quality food. We prefer a unique atmosphere and are partial to dives. A dive with a good beer selection and a top-notch burger is right up our alley.

Q. What are some of your favorite breweries that you have visited?

A. Abita (Abita Springs, LA), Franconia (McKinney, TX) and Santa Fe Brewing Co. (Santa Fe, NM). Abita because we love the beer and got to spend some time talking to the brewer after the tour. Franconia because the beer is phenomenal and the master brewer/owner gives the very informal tours himself. Santa Fe Brewing Co. was awesome because the brewery was very small and the tour felt like you were talking to passionate homebrewers in their basement (which is a very good thing!).

Q. How do you find craft beer when you travel?

A. Usually we do some internet searches for “breweries” or “best beer bar” in the places we are going. Sometimes we go based on word of mouth as well.

Favorite Beer City to travel to:

A. Probably Dallas. We’ve spent more time in Dallas than many other places, so we are more familiar what Dallas and the surrounding areas have to offer in the way of great beer.

Best Beer State in your opinion:

A. Colorado. Some of our favorite beers come from Colorado. It’s hard to argue against that state, you can practically throw a rock and hit a brewery there.

Brewery you want to visit:

A. Goose Island or any of the Trappist breweries would be amazing. Goose Island, because it is one of our favorite breweries and make some fantastic beers. We are hoping to get there in the next few months. The Trappist breweries for all the obvious reasons; the history, culture, and quality of their beers is just something I don’t think we’ll be able to experience anywhere else. Not sure when we’ll get there, but definitely will some day.

Tell us about your most memorable brewery visit:

A. The Abita Brewery was probably our most memorable visit. The tour is fairly short but there is quite a bit of time to enjoy their unlimited samples. Also, we spent some time talking homebrewing with the brewer and he had some really great advice for me as a new brewer. He offered us yeast for our homebrews and introduced us to the head brewer. Also, his name was Sonny Day. No kidding.

Q. What do you look for when deciding what pint to pour next?

A. If we are at a place we have been before, we will generally look for something new or local. Also, seasonal beers are some of our favorites.

Q. What is the most unique beer you’ve enjoyed?

A. Jen says: Freaktoberfest (Coney Island, NY). The beer is blood red and even has a pinkish head. From what I remember, it had a strange flavor and was slightly sour.

Nate says: Pure Guava Petite Sour from Crooked Stave (Denver, CO). I was lucky enough to try this at the Great Nebraska Beer Festival and it was slightly off-putting at first. Talking with the brewer, I learned that flavors change with temperature. I tried it again as it warmed and it was truly an outstanding beer.

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. We would really like to have dinner and a beer with Dr. Bill Sysak (Master Pairings, Expert Drinking), the Beverage Supervisor at the Stone World Bistro and an expert of all things adult beverage-related. Of course, we would eat at the Stone World Bistro. He is someone we’ve learned quite a bit from when it comes to beer/wine/spirits and pairings, by listening to his various podcasts. His outlook really fits in with the way we see our travels. We try to experience the best that an area has to offer and don’t feel like we have really had a good trip unless we’ve done that.

Q. Where can we find more about you online? Twitter/Facebook/Website etc.

A. Twitter: @Brewventures
Facebook: Brewventures in Food
Website: www.brewventuresinfood.com


Author Maria

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Nathan and Jen, we’ll look forward to seeing you out in Southern California one of these days. You could spend a whole week or more checking out the breweries and brewpubs in the area. Be sure & visit Ladyface Ale Companie (Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie) in little ol’ Agoura Hills as you taste your way south to San Diego. Happy trails! (And thanks for a great story, Roaming Pint!)

  • Brandon Slaughter says:

    Nate is truly a beer lover hands down. He’s also a great friend. Prosit.

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