Joe Mohrfeld

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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 head brewer at Pinthouse Pizza brewpub in Austin, Texas. I got my start shadowing brewer Jeff Doyle around Odell Brewing Co.’s brewhouse. At the time I was throwing around business ideas for starting a brewpub or small brewery in Colorado after completing my M.A. from Colorado State in 2008. Jeff was nice enough to let me come in and see how a commercial brewing operation was run. I quickly realized I knew nothing, so I enrolled in the MBAA Brewing and Malting Science course, took my IBD exam, and during that time was hired on at Odell. I worked in many areas of the brewery and eventually became involved in product development and took over as head brewer. Last year I moved down to Austin to join the Pinthouse Pizza project and the Austin scene.

What’s new at Pinthouse Pizza?

We are coming up on our first anniversary and will be releasing quite a few exciting beers. I have two barrel projects coming out in October: a Belgian saison aged in Silver Oak Cab and Paul Masson Brandy barrels, and the return of our beloved Jaguar Shark and Nitro Shark. The Jaguar Shark is an imperial version of our dry Irish stout aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels. Additionally we just brewed a fresh hopped version of our Iron Genny Pale Ale using fresh Cascades from Goschie Farms. Between our pilot program, exploration series, and Fallen Cask rotating IPA series we have been releasing a new beer in the pub every week!

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

The people. No other community is as supportive and has as much fun as those in the craft beer community. As a startup it has been incredible how supportive and helpful our fellow Austin brewers have been and also how much fun we have hanging out with our tight-knit community of brewers.

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

I enjoy traveling quite a bit, especially adventure travel on my motorcycle, as well as camping, snowboarding, and rock climbing.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

I really enjoy dark chocolate and an APA or IPA.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Making it to 30, given some of my past outdoor adventures in the Colorado Rockies.

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

Summit EPA. This was the beer that got me into craft beer back in college and is still one of my favorite pale ales. Every time I am back in Minnesota visiting family and friends, I stock up on EPA to bring back with me. I had a chance to visit Summit a couple years back and drank a Summit EPA with Mark at his brewery after he showed me around…now that was a pretty awesome moment!

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

I have really enjoyed my trips to the Philly area. I have some good friends in the industry out there and was recently there to speak at an MBAA meeting. I was very impressed by the local beers and also the culture surrounding that scene. I enjoyed the fact that the brewers there embraced their local styles and didn’t try to produce beers that taste like everywhere else in the country.

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