What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
Katina is the CFO and I am the founder and owner [of O’so Brewing Company in Plover, Wis.] I got started homebrewing in college when my neighbor, who is now our salesman, turned me onto an Old Nick Barley Wine. I was hooked. In addition to O’so, which opened in 2007, we own Point Brew Supply, a homebrewing and winemaking supply store.
What’s new at O’so?
Lots of barrel aging going on—sours, lambic style, Brett aging, some bourbon and brandy barrel aging. Our biggest accomplishment so far is building our lab program. We just purchased a spectrophotometer and are analyzing VDK, IBU, DMS, etc. Lots of learning, but we are sleeping better at night.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The union of all craft brewers. No matter where we go, every brewer seems eager and willing to help everyone get better. We certainly subscribe to that theory. We have a great relationship with our local breweries (Central Waters and Point Brewery) and we work together for the common good of all. We are no longer the new guys and see ourselves helping young breweries every day...we enjoy watching everyone grow.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I am a real geek. I love to read and really delve into the science behind the beer. I know that approach will help us be an incredible brewery someday. We also like to work out so we can keep drinking the good beers. The two of us are going to be grandparents soon, so that is exciting for us.
Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
The best pairing I have tried is our Wee on the Lam sour brown paired with foie gras chocolate truffle. The sweet with the sour and the bits of salty liver was awesome.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to brewing?
I lasted two rounds of boxing with a guy who had 12 years’ experience. I was sore for a while, needless to say.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Tough one...I really like sours, so Cantillon Lambic is high up there, but locally the Central Waters bourbon-aged stuff is always great.
What’s the most memorable location at which you had a chance to sample the local beer?
Just recently, we went to Superior, Wis. to the Thirsty Pagan brewpub....very good pizza and the beers were very solid. The owner, Steve, showed me the brew space and it was pretty much glorified homebrewing. Lots of ingenuity went into their system.