Meet the Baron: Bob Manke

Age: 52bobmanke2

How long have you been a Baron? Only a couple of months now.

How long have you been brewing? 11 years overall but really just the last year seriously.

What style do you brew most often? American Ales, Belgiam Wits, Hefe-Weisse, Dunkel Lagers. At this point I’m still trying to find a favorite.

What got you into brewing? Discovering that homebrewed beer is much better than stuff you buy and tasting kegs at parties in the 80s and 90s. In 1999 a good friend named Tom took the time to help me with my initial modest equipment purchase to do an ex- tract honey-weisse. After one successful extract batch I went on a homebrew hiatus for 10 years until last year when I was on a busi- ness trip with another colleague that was into homebrewing and visited the Brasserie Dubisson close to the France/Belgium border and went on a behind the scene tour of this very old brewery with an interesting guide. We ended up asking all sorts of brewing ques- tions and this re-sparked my interest.

How often do you brew? I started brewing for parties like Thanksgiving or Christmas and was tired of running out of beer too fast so now I’m averaging about twice a month; eight batches since June this year. I’m just making the switch to AG for my next batch with my new 15 Gallon kettle and wort chiller.

Do you brew solo or with other people? Mostly solo but I invite friends over who are interested.

What is your favorite style and why? A nice frothy Hefe-Weisse I guess. Taste, aroma, and low hops. Getting into Munich Dunkel Lagers lately… Again low hops, smooth creamy character.

What is your favorite beer? Has been Blue Moon for a few years along with Hacker-Schoor Hefe-Weisse. Now liking Hoegaarden and Hofbrau Dunkel Lagers.

What is your commercial to homebrew consumption ratio? 60%- 40% and getting lower. I’m looking to eventually keep 3 – 5 kegs on tap with some lagering space in a chest freezer.

What has been your favorite Baron meeting? The picnic.

What is the next Baron function for which you plan on volunteering? One of the local competitions next summer/fall.