Joe Powers

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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 head brewer at HomeGrown Brewing Co. [in Oxford, Mich.] I come from an environmental engineering background, but I’ve been homebrewing for over 10 years now and got my dad interested in it. Together with the rest of our family, we decided to take it to the next level and open our own brewery in our hometown in Michigan.

What’s new at HomeGrown Brewing Co.?

We opened less than a year ago, so we are still fairly new to the scene. One of our first seasonals was an all-Michigan IPA, using only ingredients from our state, which we were pretty proud of.

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

Definitely the inclusive nature of it. We have all been humbled by how supportive other brewers and breweries are. We weren’t viewed as competition, but as colleagues.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

Our chef here has an awesome menu, and his bacon HGBC burger pairs perfectly with our Ruck-a-Chuck IPA.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Surviving parenthood, so far…

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

Pretty much anything by KBC (Keweenaw Brewing Company). They are the ones who got me into craft brewing in the first place.

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

I made a bit of a study of Australian and New Zealand breweries and styles when I lived there for a few years, so you’ll see that influence come through in our ingredient choices at HomeGrown, including an Aussie sparkling ale.

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

I’m pretty big into hiking, so you can usually find me out on the trails. You also might catch me searching out a decent espresso with my wife, or jumping through sprinklers with my young sons.

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