Brian tells us about the Oktoberfest style, history, and the new BJCP style guideline changes.
Jonathan talks about cleaning and sanitizing throughout the brewing process and draft service. He also provides an overview of The Craftmeister line and other cleaners that National makes.
Rich Heller, Wisconsin Goose Island Sale Rep lined up a beer and cheese pairing with Honkers, Sophie, Matilda, Pepe Nero, and BCS and described to us how to set up pairings.
In this home brew meeting we compared home brew shop kits, both extract and all grain of each, and compared them to the commercial beers they are supposed to clone.
Age: 31. Which still feels a bit weird to say.
How long have you been a Baron? Just about 7 months. I joined back in July ’13 after relocating to Milwaukee.
How long have you been brewing? 7 years or so.
What style do you most often brew? Overall, it’s a tie between American Pale Ales and Saisons. The APA is my favorite, and the Saison is Colleen’s (my wife). Since moving to Milwaukee I have room in the apartment for a lagering freezer, so I’ve been churning out a lot of lagers recently.
What got you into brewing? My parents got me a Mr. Beer kit for my 24th birthday. I made a (horrible) first batch and, while I knew making beer was just about the coolest hobby to have, my instincts told me to look beyond Mr. Beer. I’ve heard you can make decent beer with it, but I went online and grabbed a basic kit setup and the rest is history.
How often do you brew? I try to brew every 2-3 weeks.
Do you brew solo or with other people? Most often I brew solo. I have a lot of fun brewing with other brewers. It’s a great way to pick up new tips and tricks. My homebrewing-curious friends and neighbors have a standing invitation to come over on brew days. In fact, over Christmas I had my cousin over and we brewed a Belgain Dark Strong. It was his first experience with homeberwing. Maybe he’ll catch the bug now!
What is your favorite style and why? American Pale Ale. I think there is a lot of latitude in the style. I love the firm and floral hop character that isn’t out to punch you in the mouth. My favorites also have a noticeable malt character – bready and/or biscuity.
What is your favorite beer? Pride and Joy by Three Floyds. I know they call it a Mild, but to me that is an APA all the way. It was love at first sip!
What is your favorite brewery and why? You caught me on a Monday, so today it’s Half Acre out of Chicago. I have liked everything I’ve had from them. Also, their involvement with the cycling community, their collaboration beers, and their environmental awareness all strike a chord with me. They have some amazing art for their labels too! Ask me tomorrow and it could be Bell’s or Shorts or Founders or New Glarus. It’s hard to keep a favorite!
What is your commmercial to homebrew consumption ratio? Probably about 50-50. I try to give away as much of my homebrew as possible. After a gallon or two, I know if I made the beer I wanted to, and have some notes on what to change in the next iteration. The rest is up for grabs. I’ve got to keep some kegs open for new brews!
Have you ever entered a competition? Yes, a few. I used to live in Boston (Jamaica Plain, actually) and was walking distance to the Sam Adams brewery. The first competition I entered was their Longshot. Since then, I try to enter a couple each year. I am currently taking the BJCP classes, so competitions are popping up on my radar a bit more these days. I hope enter and steward several this year. Maybe I’ll get to judge one with a little luck (and a passing score on the tasting exam)!
What has been your favorite Baron meeting? Tough question, but I’ll have to go with the Christmas party. The food, the amazing beer selection, the raffle, and of course the elections!
What is your day job? I am a software engineer for Tremor Video, an online video advertisement company. I work out of my apartment and from various Colectivo cafes across the city. You have probably seen some of our ads online, and if so, you have my apologies. I don’t make the ads, but I do make the internal application that our designers use to make them.