|Photo courtesy of Brewpublic|
Hometown: Rhinelander, WI
Favorite Beer: I have lots of favorites, but we'll go with Blind Pig IPA from Russian River.
Favorite Beer Haunt: In Eugene, The Bier Stein, in PDX, Saraveza
First Craft brew I ever tried and what I thought? I'm going to cheat again here because I actually had two craft beer epiphanies, one in the Midwest, and one in the Pacific Northwest. The truly first craft beer I ever tasted was Summit Brewing's Extra Pale Ale. I was truly amazed at simply how much more flavor, of both malt and hops, was present in this beer compared to the American Lagers that I had been drinking. And then things were taken up another notch when I came to Oregon to meet my future wife's family and was handed a Mirror Pond Pale Ale by my future brother-in-law. It was hopped like the IPAs of the midwest and was so crisp and vibrant, it was almost like it wasn't beer at all, but some new magical beverage handed down from the gods. And I never looked back!
Do you homebrew? Favorite homebrew to date? Yes I've been homebrewing since 2000, and have run a homebrew shop in Eugene for the past ten years (first named Valley Vintner & Brewer, now named Falling Sky Fermentation Supply Shop). I haven't been able to brew much since I started this brewpub project, but on the flip side, we did just make a commercial batch of my favorite homebrew recipe, my Reckless Abandon IPA. It's pretty gratifying to see something that you've been drinking on your home kegerator for years up on a chalkboard at a restaurant! From my extract brewing years, my favorite kit that we sell at the brewshop is the Dank Nugget IPA, a nice tweener beer, not quite a true IPA, but definitely more than a pale ale.
How'd you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? The interwebs of course. Also met Emily at Spring Beer & Wine Fest and CBC.
What does being a beer geek mean to you? Well I am a biologist by training, so being a geek just comes naturally I guess. Being a beer geek means striking up conversations with the people next to me at the bar about what they're drinking and what they think about it. It means participating in homebrew competition judging, tastings, festivals, and other mediums that offer us a chance to preach the good word of craft beer to the masses.
If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be? Things seems to be trending in the right directions, but I would hope that more and more people will realize that macro beer is just not good. The trend toward neighborhood brewpubs and beer bars that exists in Portland will hopefully continue to spread to the rest of the nation as well.
What do you love about Portland's Craft Beer scene? The people for sure!! Such a wonderful community of brewers, proprietors, bloggers, and drinkers! Everyone generally knows what they are talking about, but with a pretty minimal amount of pretension. I guess that is what happens when diverse choices in quality beer becomes the norm rather than the exception.
Where can we find you on the web? A few places. We have a website for the homebrew store, Falling Sky Fermentation Supply Shop, at www.brewabeer.com, and one for the brewpub & restaurant at www.fallingskybrewing.com
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