What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
My current title is Cheersleader/Idea Man for Wynkoop Brewing Company. How did I get started? A combination of Ballantine IPA, Joy of Homebrewing, Michael Jackson’s books, a harmonica, a college feature-writing class, the GABF and a very supportive wife. Together they led me to Denver and the dream of making a living in the craft beer trade.
What’s new at Wynkoop?
Hand-canned 12-ouncers of our delicious flagship beer, Rail Yard Ale, which we’re now placing on Denver area shelves.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The fun and satisfaction that come from handing someone a beer that gives them goosebumps and changes their life for good, forever. There’s also the fellowship and collective support of the industry. Ours is a unique craft in which nearly all of the participants are in it for the right reasons and help each other for the cause. We’re out to make exceptional beer and use it to spread joy around, while we carve out an honest living doing something we deeply love, by our own rules.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Write songs and play them with my band, sip great beer, fish for bass and catfish in local ponds, cook, and grow vegetables and flowers.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
A rack of ribs off of my smoker and a hearty brown ale or porter is mighty fine. A knockout chocolate dessert and a barrel-aged stout are a tag team that’s hard to beat.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Being happily married to the world’s greatest wife (who loves beer as much as I do), and being deemed Husband of the Year by that same wife for most of our years together.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
That’s a tough one. But on the Belgian side it’s St. Bernardus Trippel and Avec les Bon Voeux. Hercules Double IPA for a big hop fix. Firestone Walker’s Union Jack IPA is now my gotta-get-it beer at the GABF, and I have a soft spot for the canned version of Old Speckled Hen when I want a session beer.
What’s the most exotic travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
I’ve had the blessings of visiting some wonderful places and tasting fine beer with fine folks who make and drink it. But the answer has to be Charlie Papazian’s garage/homebrewery, with Charlie himself. Until I crack a cool one with my Maker, I don’t think anything will top that.