What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I just recently moved from being a full-time accountant to a full-time brewer [at The Beer’d Brewing Co. in Stonington, Conn.]. The reward and satisfaction I get from brewing beer vs. accounting is tenfold. I got started in the brewing industry in college via a course called “Beers of the World”; a homebrewer gave a demonstration and the rest is history. I spent some time volunteering at Cottrell Brewing Co. out of Pawcatuck, Conn. while working on our business plan, and after a few years we felt comfortable moving forward with opening our own establishment with the help of my better half, Precious Putnam.
What’s new at Beer’d?
There is always something new at the brewery. We develop beers on a regular basis based on our inspirations and other beers that we have enjoyed. Currently we are serving our Whisker’d Wit, Anomaly Black IPA, and a soon-to-be-released American pale ale featuring Motueka hops from New Zealand.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Being part of the brewing community not only means collaboration but a huge amount of support. We regularly are “gifted” yeast from the Cottrell Brewing Company, but we are also able to tag along on other purchases like the bourbon whiskey barrels from the Berkshire Mountain Distillery. Large purchases like this allow a very small company like ours to take advantage of opportunities not available to small companies like our own.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Hiking and camping. We like to plan a trip that includes one or two brewery visits and then involves a very long hike to a camping spot away from “drive-up spots” and then a good hike out the next day. We normally bring a few good bombers or cans to share during the evening that carry us to the next morning.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Our favorite beer and food pairing involves some local oysters from Noank or Fisher’s Island and some of our Whisker’d Wit. The brine of the oysters pairs nicely with the heavy wheat contingent of the wit.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Hiking some of the highest mountains on the East Coast. We continue to plan out our ascents of the rest of the East Coast mountains, but at this point brewing beer has been taking precedence.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
We are huge fans of The Alchemist’s Heady Topper and New England Brewing Company’s Ghandi Bot. Obviously we are huge fans of what each brewery can do with hops.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
We very much enjoyed visiting the majority of locations in Maine. We had the pleasure of touring Allagash, The Maine Beer Co., The Portsmouth Brewing Co., and The Baxter Brewing Company. All of these tours gave us a different perspective on “craft beer” and as such we were able to develop our own definition.