Dan 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 am the brewmaster at River Dog Brewing Company in Bluffton, S.C. I started at Sweetwater Brewing Company nine years ago on their packaging line and eventually became the packaging manager. After five years at Sweetwater I took a job at Deschutes Brewery as a filler operator. After two years with Deschutes, I had the great opportunity to study brewing at the VLB in Berlin, Germany where I earned my Brewmaster Certification. After Germany I was hired as brewmaster for River Dog Brewing.

What’s new at River Dog?

Our barrel aging and souring program. We currently have 70 barrels in the program and hope to expand it in the fall. Also, we just started distributing to the entire state of Alabama which is keeping us very busy.

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

The best part has been watching it grow into what it is now over the last nine years. I also really enjoy the common bonds between people and breweries in the industry that has led to great friendships along the way.

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

I enjoy drinking beer, going to concerts, traveling, camping, and visiting other breweries.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

BBQ and River Dog Red IPA.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Solo backpacking the Tour du Mont Blanc in Italy, Switzerland, and France.

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

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red, Deschutes Red Chair, and anything from Cantillon.

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

The Tour de Geuze in the countryside surrounding Brussels, Belgium. A group of six of us from the Certified Brewmaster class at the VLB in Berlin flew to Belgium after our second round of exams to celebrate. We toured Cantillon, 3 Fontainen, Boon, Lindemans, and Oud Beersel. I will never forget that weekend.

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