Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Interview Series : Meet the Geeks : Kris & Mag McDowell

Kris & Mag
Names: Kris & Mag McDowell

Hometown: St. Paul, MN

Favorite Beer: Kris – Naming a single favorite beer is next to impossible for me. It depends on the day, the setting, my mood, but in general I gravitate towards IPAs.
Mag – I mostly agree, but I think Surly Brewing’s Furious is my current favorite.

Favorite Beer Haunt: Portland has so many great beer haunts but a couple that rise toward the top of the list are The Beermongers and Coalition Brewing. Those are two places where the beer is great and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? Kris – Although I don’t believe I’d call it a craft brew, my “gateway” beer into this delicious world was Newcastle. At the time it was the darkest beer I’d ever had and was possibly the first beer I’d actually enjoyed. Mag – I believe the first craft beer I tried was an Alaskan Amber. After that, my eyes had been opened to a whole new world of beer.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: We have homebrewed in the past but it has been years since our last batch. Our equipment did however make the cut during the big downsizing that occurred before we moved to Portland in 2010.

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? First through the Twitterverse and then finally meeting in person.

What does being a beer geek mean to you? Kris - It means being connected to my local beer community, being interested in what is available, looking forward to the next new beer or beer event and being able to appreciate beers even if I can’t say I like them.
Mag – Being a beer geek means taking beer pilgrimages to places like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc. in place of more traditional vacations. Being a beer geek is typified by having a diverse and unusual group of friends brought together by the unifying love of beer.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be? Kris - The demonization of drinking, especially the drinking of the “low class” beer, as opposed to the “refinement” of wine drinkers.
Mag – I agree with Kris, but I also loathe efforts to make beer/craft beer trendy, sophisticated, marketable to the masses, etc. Yeah, I know, it’s a consumer product business and a growing industry that’s attracting a lot of attention, but damnit, keep your Madison Ave-Beiberization away from my farty fizz-water.

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene? Kris - What I love is also what I hate: the vast number of events, beers and great places to drink. There’s so many I don’t have time to fit them all in. Mag – I love how ingrained craft beer and the craft beer scene has become in Portland’s culture.

Where can we find you on the web?
on our blog, Bittered Units/Beer Musings
and on Twitter: Kris and Mag