Ken Johnson

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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 the owner (with my wife, Bennett Johnson) of Fearless Brewing Company, located at the center of the brewing universe (yes, we measured) in Estacada, Ore. Fearless Brewing Company opened in June 2003. I started as a homebrewer and after winning numerous awards, including MCAB, decided I wanted to go into brewing full-time. Bennett and I saved and scrimped until we had enough to purchase a building in rural Oregon, which is now the location of Fearless Brewing Company.

What’s new at Fearless Brewing?

We just installed a new, state-of-the-art brewhouse manufactured by Metalcraft. Our brewing capacity has doubled and the system is largely automated. It is a Cadillac! Plus, we added Illinois to our distribution region that includes Oregon, Washington, and Western Canada.

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

It has always been the camaraderie among brewers. Plus, we get to create a product that makes people happy. How cool is that?

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

Steak and whatever craft beer is nearby.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Bennett and I are partners in life and partners in business. We get to live, work, and thrive together in an industry that we love. Our board meetings take place in a hot tub with a beer and cigar in hand. It is the best.

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

Years ago we visited Oskar Blues in Colorado, back when they were barely a hole in the wall. Then they started canning their beer and that influenced our decision to go with cans instead of bottles. We were one of the first in Oregon and the very first to go with 16-ounce cans here.

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

We brew our beer from the magical waters of the Clackamas River and we also live on the river. We enjoy rafting or just sitting by the river with a good book or playing our ukuleles.

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