What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
We're husband and wife owners of Wild Woods Brewery in Boulder, Colo. Jake's background is in engineering and Erin's is in nursing. We fell in love with craft beer in our early 20s and spent a great deal of time visiting other breweries and tap houses to learn about and taste as many beers as we could. When we moved from Wisconsin to Colorado, we became serious homebrewers after being immersed in the awesome beer culture here. We're also passionate about the outdoors, and several years ago when we became serious about opening a brewery it was only natural to combine our two favorite things as inspiration moving forward. Opening our own nanobrewery has been a great starting point for us to share the recipes we have been carefully creating on a small scale.
What’s new at Wild Woods?
Wild Woods is pretty new itself, opening in September 2012. We have six year-round beers but also experiment with multiple small-batch recipes. This winter we brewed several beers for our Cabin Fever Series, a series of small-batch, stronger beers to release during the cold months of winter. First was an imperial red with a hint of cinnamon and oak. Second was a smoky imperial stout, and lastly a hoppy barleywine with spruce tips and coriander.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
As many other people say, the support within the industry truly is amazing. It's great to be recognized even on a nano scale by other brewers and local beer enthusiasts alike. Boulder has so many great breweries already, but to be able to create our own niche and experience for customers and then to see them return is really rewarding.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Our favorite thing to do is to get out hiking, backpacking, and camping. We enjoy traveling to new and remote areas in Colorado and the surrounding states in search of solitude. Our recipe ideas usually come to us when we are out there in our element.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Beer and cheese pairings are endless (representing Wisconsin!). A creamy, funky gorgonzola pairs great with a crisp, hoppy IPA.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
We’ve climbed 46 of Colorado's 14ers over the last several years. Haven't decided yet if we will do them all…
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
That is always changing, but right now Jake likes walking over to Boulder Beer for a Never Summer on cask. For Erin it is Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, which has such a perfect balance of malt and hops.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
We do like going back to Wisconsin and enjoying the craft beer scene there, which is really growing. Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee is our favorite place. We really are spoiled to live in Colorado, though, and we make a point with each camping trip we take to visit someplace new.