What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am a brewer at Baying Hound Aleworks [in Rockville, Md]. I got into the industry by a happy accident. I’ve always had a real passion for beer, which started at a young age when I learned about malt, hops and yeast. It makes sense that I would end up in the industry that I love so much; however, it happened much more quickly than I had anticipated. I started as a homebrewer not long ago and developed a real passion for brewing beer. I really started getting into using different ingredients and trying to meld them with more traditional ones. At a recent homebrewers meeting, I brought a non-traditional beer for sampling and feedback. It just so happened that the owner/founder/head brewer of Baying Hound was at the meeting and got a sample of the beer. He loved it and asked me if I wanted to brew it at his place. I was floored, but accepted and things have just evolved from there!
What’s new at Baying Hound?
We’re working on cultivating a few really innovative beers right now. We’re still in the experimental phase, but we hope to get some new and interesting brews on the shelves this spring. We’re also in the process of developing a lineup of seasonal beers.
The brewery itself is getting a lot of attention as the first production brewery in the area; this has resulted in a number of people stopping by for tours and tastings. We are also working on developing some great shwag with the brewery logo; we just got pint glasses in a few weeks ago.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Designing new beers, which is also why I love homebrewing. Aside from that, I love being surrounded by people who can talk beer and get the gears in my head going for designing a new beer. The overall industry of drinkers and brewers is so welcoming and open—I love that.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I still have a full-time job in the corporate world, so between that and brewing I don’t really have time for much. I do find time to make it to the climbing gym a few times a week. I like to be outdoors when I can, hiking, climbing, snowboarding, etc. I also really like to spend time with my friends, which generally involves sharing a few beers!
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
I’m still in the learning phase. However, I do really like Kona’s Pipeline Porter with some vanilla ice cream—delicious!
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
A recent accomplishment would be that I climbed my first 5.10b.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
My go-to beer is Dogfish Head 60 Minute or 90 Minute, depending on the day.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
I have a few favorites. My family is from a small village in the foothills of the German Alps, where there is still a “beer man” who will deliver beer to your house! These trips introduced me to classic German styles and helped me appreciate them.
The first year I was legal during Asheville’s BrewGrass Festival, I made a point to be there. It was a great introduction to craft beer in the Southeast. I’ve been back a few more times and always find new and exciting things to sample! Asheville is a really great place to try a lot of different beers; it’s a great city full of drinkers and brewers (Lexington Avenue Brewery is a great place) to chat up!
A few summers ago, I went on a small beer tour through Wyoming and down into Colorado. It was that trip that inspired me to come home and begin homebrewing. I spent a few days in Fort Collins, touring and tasting all the local beers, which really got my mind rocking and rolling with ideas for beer.