1. Where is your brewery?
We're located in Clearwater, FL, but further Southeast than you'd expect. We're very close to I-275 because we wanted to be centrally located to Pinellas and Hillsborough residents.
2. What was the first beer you had that made you realize craft beer was going to be a bigger part of your life?
Dogfish Head's beers are what really started to change the way I thought about beer. My go to beer early on was their 90 Minute IPA, until the day came where my palate changed and I decided that it was too sweet and just not hoppy enough. That was the day Ken won me over with his dry, West Coast style IPAs.
3. What is your favorite style to brew and why?
IPA because it's one of my favorite styles to drink. Every brewery makes an IPA because it's the largest selling segment in the craft beer industry, but that doesn't mean everyone should make an IPA. There's a lot more to IPAs than just dumping a bunch of hops in. We have a passion for it and we focus on balancing the hops with the malt and adjust our water chemistry to get the most out of every one of our IPAs. We love the flavors and aromas you get from the different varieties of hops and we balance to create an experience. As Ken would say, "it's poetry in a glass."
4. If you were stranded on an island (with a working refrigerator that automatically replenished itself) and you could only have one beer for the rest of your life in that fridge, which would it be?
Our Clearwater Honey Cream. It is light enough to enjoy stranded on an island and the orange blossom honey and orange peel give it just enough flavor to keep it interesting.
5. What is your favorite music to listen to in the brewery?
Our music changes daily depending on who gets in to work first. Today it's country, tomorrow might be Michael Jackson, last week it was a lot of rock and Frank Sinatra. I'm a Rock & Roll girl at heart.
6. Which other brewery has inspired you the most? Why?
We take a lot of inspiration from west coast breweries in California from the styles of beer to the design of our brewery and tasting room. Russian River is the brewery that has been the biggest inspiration to us. Their commitment to quality over quantity is something we really admire.
7. Single hop beer - which hops are you using?
Mosaic has been a favorite of ours lately. We love Simcoe and Amarillo as well. We're looking forward to experimenting with some of the newer varieties this year though.
8. Where is your favorite place to get a beer after work and why?
Pair O' Dice, we've built this amazing community of friends and family at out little tasting room. It feels like our home away from home which is a good thing because it is.
9. What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone who thinks they want to get into the craft beer industry?
Building this business is definitely the hardest and most rewarding thing Ken and I have ever done together. It's not for the faint of heart. If you're willing to risk everything for the chance to won and operate a successful brewery then go for it. If you just want to brew beer for a living then I recommend that oyu go work for another brewery.
10. Dogs or cats?
Dogs. Did I mention that our brewery dog is named Simcoe?