James Smith

What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?

I am the founding brewer of Arch Rock Brewing Company in Gold Beach, Ore. I started homebrewing in 1999, and landed my first professional brewing job at Uinta Brewing in Salt Lake City where I was the head brewer for five years. After meeting my now-wife, I moved to Victor, Idaho and joined her working at Grand Teton Brewing for a couple years. The opportunity came up to be part of a startup brewery with Larry and Marjie Brennan on the Southern Oregon Coast so we moved to Gold Beach and turned their cabinet shop into a brewery.

What’s new at Arch Rock?

We recently won a gold medal for our Gold Beach Lager at the North American Brewers Association Awards.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?

I get to do what I love for a living and am surrounded by great people.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?

I enjoy fly fishing, tying flies, hiking, camping, beach combing, playing with our two dogs, and of course fermenting.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

Blue cheese and barleywine.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

It seems most of my accomplishments are focused around my career. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am and I can’t think of many accomplishments outside of marrying my wife and getting myself to the spot I’m in now.

What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?

La Chouffe.


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