Ben Trumbo

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

I’m the head brewer at Pale Fire Brewing Co. [in Harrisonburg, Va.]. While living in St. Louis, I started reaching out to local breweries, essentially offering to work for free. Someone took me up on the offer, and I tried to make myself as useful as possible while learning as much as I could. I’ve been growing and learning (and making myself more useful) since then.

What’s new at Pale Fire?

We are about to install our first expansion tanks, which will help increase our production and keep Pale Fire beer in all those thirsty folks’ glasses! This will also create some room in the production schedule for more experimental beers.

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

I’ve always enjoyed the friendly competition among brewers. We’re always pushing each other and learning from each other. When someone comes up with a new technique or style, there is excitement to see what others can do with it.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

I’m a big fan of the simple classics. Our Red Molly Irish Red Ale and a fresh cheeseburger can make my day.

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

My taste tends to be pretty mood dependent, but I always find myself jumping at the chance for a glass of Saison Dupont.

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

Portland, Ore. for CBC in 2015. That was my first dive into the Portland beer scene. Every day was a new discovery of what beer could be. I particularly remember going to Cascade Brewing and realizing “OK, now I understand how good a sour beer can be.”

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

I’ve become a big disc golf fan since joining Pale Fire. Virginia has some pretty great courses, and one of the best is a mere two minutes from the brewery!

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