Bret Kollmann Baker

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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 currently the head of brewing operations at Urban Artifact [in Cincinnati, Ohio]. Like so many before me, brewing started as a hobby, then an obsession, and finally a career.

What’s new at Urban Artifact?

We have recently begun canning our core beers, our first foray into the small package format. In addition, we have finally (after two years in the making) started to release our barrel-aged sours in bottles, all fermented with local microflora. It has been a long passion project in the making, and finally seeing all these barrels come to fruition is elating.

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

The community is the best part! So many people are focused on making the best beer possible, and are able to be creative while also pushing the boundaries on brewing tradition through the use of modern science. It is a work-hard industry, but also a play-hard one. There’s very much a mad scientist vibe going on here at Urban Artifact.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

This is a loaded question! If we are talking about a fruited sour beer, I would have to say a heavy fish dish’salmon, swordfish, shark, etc. Anything to stand up to the robust flavor of the beer. That, or maybe a glass of brandy on the side.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Hiking the Appalachian Trail.

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

Currently I have been jamming on Bell’s Smitten.

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

Hike, hang out with my wife, yell random nonsense at neighborhood dogs, watch ‘It’s Always Sunny’ reruns for the 100th time, and sit around wondering what new hobby I should take up now that I get to brew for a living.

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

Kennebec River Brewery in The Forks, Maine. Just 150 miles into the Appalachian Trail (heading southbound), this little slice of heaven was a perfect stopover for a night in the backwoods of Maine.


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