Christian Ettinger

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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 the brewmaster and founder of Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland, Ore. I began homebrewing when I was 18 years old during freshman summer break and moved to Cologne, Germany for part of my sophomore year. I fell in love with Kölsch and finished my business degree with a five-credit brewing internship at Oregon Fields Brewery in Eugene.

What’s new at Hopworks?

We are feverishly working on acquiring a canning line. What an education! We recently added 4,000 square feet, three 80-barrel fermenters, and a new 10-meter DE filter to address this additional demand. The most exciting addition is our new 40 HP eco-glycol chiller with frequency drives on the pumps and heat capture to pre-heat our brewing water. Sweet!

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

The sense of camaraderie is amazing. I love the inclusive nature of beer and brewing. The winos can have exclusivity. I raise a toast to you, my craft beer brothers and sisters!

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

Biking, hiking, snowboarding, and traveling are my passions, and building the brewery was a means to enjoy these more often. The double-edged sword of entrepreneurialism is a challenge indeed as free time is hard to find!

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

While in Salzburg recently, I had a street cart bratwurst seasoned with paprika and mustard paired with a tall-boy of Steigl. World-class in every way. Never underestimate the power of atmosphere!

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Finding balance in life. My family is where it’s at. Evelyn (3), Julian (6), and Brandie (37) are the loves of my life. I really enjoy exposing the little ones to the wonderful world. Work will eat you alive if you let it. Workaholism is easy. Making time for yourself and your family is hard.

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

It is a three-way tie between Augustiner Hefeweizen, Ayinger Pils, and Sierra Nevada Celebration.

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

I recently returned from Brau Beviale in Nuremberg. Please go if you get the chance. It was overwhelming, inspirational, and built on centuries of brewing tradition and experience. Mark Vickery of Golden Valley Brewery and I spent a day at the tradeshow and four heavy beer touring days on the ground. We hit no fewer than three breweries per day and covered Neumarkt, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Salzburg, Aying, and Munich. The highlight was back-to-back tours of Steigl, Trumer, and Ayinger. I immediately came back and started tinkering with our Pilsner recipe.

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