Bob Bartholomew

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

I am head brewer at Kinsmen Brewing Company in Milldale, Conn. I started drinking craft beers like Harpoon IPA and Long Trail Ale back in the day. My first unofficial job was volunteering at Thomas Hooker Brewing’s open houses on Saturdays. After I switched careers into brewing, I worked at Sebago Brewing for a short time on the bottling line and then was assistant brewer at Banded Brewing.

What’s new at Kinsmen Brewing?

We are now fermenting in puncheons and wine barrels! We recently created a Pilsner that was fermented and lagered in French oak barrels. Currently we are fermenting and aging a saison in 500 liter puncheons.

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

Besides the artistic freedom that we have creating beer, the camaraderie between breweries is the most fun.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

A big, fatty cheeseburger and a bone-dry Pilsner to wash it down.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Finishing my master’s degree in ecology before I got into the brewing world, and having my three kids.

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

Allagash White.

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

Bocas del Toro, Panama. While in graduate school I took a research class in Panama. We were stationed on the beach with a restaurant that you could only get to by boat or a very long, bumpy dirt road. At the end of the day we would hang out with stray dogs, eat fish and plantains, and drink Cerveza Panama Lager.

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

Mainly kid stuff as I have three kids under four years old. I also like to hike and camp as well as play drums and farm.

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