Top brewers in the nation answer 6 questions about beer

Top brewers in the nation answer 6 questions about beer

VicesOctober 09, 2017

Fermented barley water is big business in Colorado. Haven’t you heard? This means the state's industry has managed to pluck expert brewers from around the world to craft quality products other regions can only get jealous over. And as patio season comes to full fruition, who better to ask about drinking in excessive (yet responsible) quantities than the makers themselves.

3 faves

“Stone Arrogant Bastard, The Dissident by Deschutes Brewery and Samuel Adam’s Boston Lager.“
- Joshua Rapp, Senior Brewer @ Avery Brewing Co.

“Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Melvin Hubert and Ale Apothecary Sahalie.”
- Branden Miller, Co-Founder & Director of Operations @ Black Shirt Brewing Co.

“Stone IPA, New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red and anything from Belgium’s Brasserie-Brouwerij Cantillon. For bonus points I also love Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.”
- Jeff Griffith, Head Brewer @ FATE Brewing Company

“Cherry Rye Bourbon County Stout, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and any fruit beer made by Bob Malone.”
- Elliot Kehoe, Brewer @ Great Divide Brewing Company

“Deschutes The Abyss, Avery Old Jubilation, Pipeworks Ninja Vs. Unicorn and Anchor Brewing Steam Beer. (I know there are 4, I couldn’t help myself.)”
- Taylor Krantz, Lead Administrative Brewer @ Fort Collins Brewery
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What Goes Best w/ a Patio?

“My current and always favorite hot hot heat beer is Olympia. It also goes well with a few dashes of Angostura Bitters in it. However, if you’ve not had Bierstadt’s Slow Pour Pilsner it is easily the most beautifully drinkable beer made in America right now.”
- Rapp, Avery

“Saison in the morning, lager in the afternoon, stout in the evening. You can flip that order too.”
- Kehoe, Great Divide

“If there’s no shade and I’m baking in the sun, make it a Pivo Pils. If there’s a little shade and a breeze, I’ll take something a bit hoppier like a Melvin Hubert. Truth be told, the Colorado Red Ale we make at Black Shirt goes down best in the beer garden with a band on the stage!”
- Miller, Black Shirt

“One of the things I absolutely love about a good patio beer is something that, if you’re hanging out with friends and talking and don’t want to think about the beer, it’s not gonna get in your way. The difference between a good one and a great one, if you do want to dissect the beer and think about every little nuance is if they can hold up to that scrutiny as well. “
- Brad Landman, Head Brewer @ Prost Brewing Company
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Cheap stuff: Yea or nay?

“Oh no, there’s never a reason to do that [laughs]. I might go for a Coors Banquet, but you’re very rarely that kind of stuck, especially in Colorado.”
- Tim Mathews, Head of Brewing Operations @ Oskar Blues Brewery

“I love cheap beer. Olympia, Hamms, Schlitz and PBR are all great. New Belgium’s Dayblazer is also a serious game changer at about the same price as all those others.”
- Rapp, Avery

“I definitely drink macro lager away from my brewery and everyone gives me a hard time about it. However, my entire life revolves around critiquing beer, obsessing about subtle nuances and the techniques behind them, the constant pursuit of perfection in my craft. A cold Coors Banquet allows me to turn my brain off a bit, quit criticizing, and just enjoy the moment and the conversation.”
- Miller, Black Shirt

“I’ve got nothin’ against cheap beer, I know I should. I have a really good friend who works at Coors, so he always has Coors products he gets for free to cheap — so along those lines, Coors Extra Gold is easily my favorite. I started drinking cheap beer before craft beer was a thing, so, you know, old habits die hard.”
- Landman, Prost

“I certainly do on occasion. When I do it’s either PBR, Coors or Miller High Life.”
- Krantz, FCB
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Taprooms Should Have ...

“I like to see people having fun, which … I know … sounds kind of odd; you should be having fun at a brewery. Some places get a little too serious about things and to me beer is always supposed to be fun.”
- Landman, Prost

“It starts with an educated staff. They are the frontrunners that represent your product. On top of that, a good product and a great, welcoming atmosphere for the taproom creates a place that people want to be.”
- Krantz, FCB

“A taproom’s success is proportional to the number of people singing along to Mariah Carey at closing time.”
- Kehoe, Great Divide
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Trends in Beer?

“Imperial beers will be coming less and less, I assume. It’s something you wait until the weekend for; maybe Friday the first drink you have a big imperial beer and then retreat into a session beer. The big beers still make a big splash, but people don’t drink a lot of it so they don’t sell a lot. The most highly rated beers are some of our worst sellers.”
- Mathews, Oskar Blues

“Drinking beer and watching Rockies games.
‘Tis the season.”
- Kehoe, Great Divide
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What Makes a Good Beer ‘Good’?

“Beer is good if you enjoy it. As beer drinkers become more educated, off flavors will become less tolerable; but if you enjoy a beer that tastes like buttery popcorn, that’s OK.”
- Rapp, Avery

“[It] comes from not trying to make the recipe overly complicated. Make sure that you have a reason to have each ingredient in the recipe and that it can be discernable in the finished product. That along with good process control make sure you aren’t getting any weird off flavors that you don’t want. No one wants cardboard, DMS or Band-Aids in their beer.”
- Krantz, FCB

“In short, if I want another.”
- Griffith, FATE