Jeff Smiley

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

I’m currently the head brewer at Baron Brewing and Three Skulls Ales [in Seattle, Wash.]. I started as an avid homebrewer and decided to go to brewing school to see if I might be interested in a professional career. I ended up opening Baron Brewing in 2003 and Three Skulls Ales in 2008.

What’s new at your brewery?

Our expansion from brewing only Baron Brewing’s traditional German styles to a wider variety of other beers, primarily Northwest style beers, with Three Skulls Ales has allowed us a wider range of beers we can brew and enjoy.

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

It’s amazing how local brewers work together to help everyone produce the best beers possible. Need help with a recipe? Give a brewer a call. Need some malt? Give a brewer a call. It’s amazing.

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

Time away from the brewery? I’ve heard of that. Usually my wife Kate Gaiser and I attend beer events around the country. I can’t remember a vacation where beer wasn’t involved.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

Baron Pilsner and Mexican food. Pilsner and some spicy burritos hit the spot.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Life was boring before brewing beer.

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

I’m a huge fan of sour beers. Three Skulls Ales will begin to play around with sour beers soon!

What’s the most exotic travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?

While it’s not exotic, drinking kellerbier sitting in Munich is about the best thing in the world.


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