1. Where is your brewery?
Boston, MA and Windsor, Vt.
2. What was the first beer you had that made you realize craft beer was going to be a bigger part of your life?
It is really difficult to name one, but if I had to, I would say Magic Hat, Jinx. I went to school in northern Vermont and that beer stands out as one of the first real offerings I had. I remember thinking, "this is remarkable. I didn't know this was possible in beer."
3. What is your favorite style to brew and why?
I am an iconolast when it comes to style. I want to brew something that tastes great; period. That is what I strive for. These days I am either trying to create something well balanced or taking things in different direction. At the moment, I am working on a session Pale Ale with big aroma and a generously hopped Braggot. Believe it or not, for as much as I make it, I really enjoy brewing Harpoon IPA - the end product is fantastically well balanced.
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?
So much time and one option, that is a cruel question to ask a craft brewer! From the Harpoon lineup I would have to say The Long Thaw White IPA. World over? Rodenbach, Grand Cru.
5. What is your favorite music to listen to in the brewery?
The music choice tends to reflect the mometn at the brewery and is therefore pretty dynamic. If things are going well it would be something like Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Caroline Rose. If we are troubleshooting, formulating recipes, doing research, etc., something a little more low key: Ben Howard, Chris Smithers, The Barr Brothers, Beirut, Neil Young. If I am hand milling, working on our pilot brewhouse, or something equally as labor intensive, the energy level gets kicked up a notch: Waylon Speed or some 90's grunge rock. The lab crew, on the other hand, get pretty deep into death metal at times... Who would've thought?!
6. Which other brewery has inspired you the most? Why?
What the traditional German lager brewers are capable of is mind blowing to me. I dare you to try a classic Weihenstephaner and say the yeast signature is anything less than remarkable. It demonstrates an unprecedented mastery of the craft.
7. Single hop beer - which hops are you using?
8. Where is your favorite place to get a beer after work and why?
The Beer Hall at the brewery here in Boston here is pretty remarkable. Alongside the regular offerings there is a series of rotating pilot beers available. Experiencing the beers through the brewing process to their culmination is pretty cool. Beyond the brewery my local is Highland Kitchen, in Somerville, MA.
9. What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone who thinks they want to get into the craft beer industry?
Offering just one piece of advice would be tough, I would say three things: (A) Enjoy cleaning - you are going to do more of it than you can imagine. (B) For every ounce of hard work you put, the dividends are exponential. The camaraderie in the craft community is incredible, get ready to have alot of fun. (C) If you are planning to serve a local community where demand is unmet, then the standard craft offerings are fitting - brew what you like and the styles that have become commonplace. If you are planning on expanding your distribution beyond your locality, think long and hard about offering something unconventional to the craft beer segment. I am a hophead through and through, but there is an IPA or two out there already. Do something different!
10. Dogs or cats?
Daaags - like the pikey kind.