Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Interview Series : Meet the Geek : Mike Wright

I caught up with Mike the other night at The Commons opening, and he was nice enough to do our interview series. Please meet Mike owner/brewer of The Commons.

Name: Mike Wright

Hometown: St. Helena, CA. I grew up around wine.

Favorite Beer: Oh, crap, I struggle with this one. On school nights I often find my way to a simple, clean American pale ale. Orval is definitely at the top of my list though.

Favorite Beer Haunt: This really depends on what part of town I'm in, but since I spend most of my time in close-in SE I guess I would say Beermongers. It's low-key which suits my personality.

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you
I'm certain it must have been Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, though there was a fair amount of Pete's Wicked around too. I'd mostly been consuming wine and crappy beer at that point so SNPA was super flavorful. I think it may have taken a few before I was hooked.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: I have home brewed for a number of years, but that has waned since starting the brewery. The nano system still gets a lot of use though, and that's basically home brewing. Favorite home brew? I brewed a Belgian blond ale with cherries a few years back. That beer was awesome. Dry, highly carbonated and slightly tart.

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? I first heard about pdxbeergeeks via twitter. There was a fair amount of chatter going on around PDX Beer Week.

What does being a beer geek mean to you? Despite the fact I've done a fair amount of home brewing, was inspired by beer enough to open a brewery, and can talk at length about beer, I don't self identify as a beer geek. I think of myself more of a joe-schmo. I like lower alcohol, easy drinking, approachable beers. I think I may have just blown my cover.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US,
what would it be?
That the rest of the nation would be more like Portland where craft beer is the norm. That good quality, flavorful beers was abundant and local pubs, and bottle shops dotted every corner. At that point it's more about community. I think we've lost that in our strip-mall-ridden landscape.

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene? Well, there's lots to love. It's an island in many respects, which is killer, but a bit disappointing at the same time. I guess it really comes down to the people. The people are interesting and fun to be around.

Where can we find you on the web?