Gary Brown

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

I’m the owner/head brewer/head dishwasher/community activist at Boondocks Brewing [in West Jefferson, N.C.]. I have been homebrewing off and on for most of my adult life. In 2012, I left the corporate world to pursue a dream I have had since the mid-80s: opening a cool, community-focused, beer-centric place. In August 2012 we opened Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant. In 2014, we opened Boondocks Brewing’s Brew Haus a short block up from the restaurant and moved brewing operations, special events, and catering to that location.

What’s new at Boondocks?

Every day brings something new. We are in the process of expanding our fermentation tanks and are converting a large portion of our third floor at the Brew Haus into a large walk-in cooler.

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

The friendships we have developed with others in the industry and the economic impact we have made in our small community. Ashe County, in the northwest corner of North Carolina, has only about 27,000 full-time residents, and we have been able to employ a large number of people who otherwise may not have employment. Our May 2015 payroll consisted of 59 employees. To be able to offer opportunities to this many people makes the hard work of running a business worth it.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

We do a monthly five-course beer pairing dinner. A recent pairing that still sticks in my mind was a bacon maple pork ribeye paired with Weyerbacher QUAD. Simply amazing.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Everything seems to be related to my job.

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

Hop Nosh from Uinta.

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

CBC 2014 in Denver. If I have to explain why, you just would not understand…

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