Mason Hembree

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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 president, dude, and lead beer evangelist for Dad & Dude’s Breweria [brewpub] and Dude’s Brews [packaging] in Aurora, Colo. I have been brewing for nine years and actively engaged in commercial brewing for four years. I got my start with a homebrewing obsession. I was an internet nerd and entrepreneur. My days were spent mostly on the computer, with very little human interaction. I always embraced an opportunity to be outside, with my father, engaging in the age old discipline of brewing. While on a trip to Crested Butte, Colo. I met a traveling sage who introduced me to the works of Walt Whitman. I felt compelled to leave my internet business behind in order to express myself in a more social and artistic way. Three months later, I asked my father if he wanted to make his famous pizza recipes as a symbiotic relationship to the suds I planned to produce. A year later, our first brewpub was born.

What’s new at Dad & Dude’s?

Last year, we hired an ex-senior brewer from one of my favorite breweries, Dogfish Head. Our ideas melded well as he was not afraid to push the limits of great craft beer. In 2014, we were released from the stranglehold of antiquated beer laws and re-released our flagship and most popular brew, Dank IPA. Additionally, we released a rye ale (Ryeot) and our personal ode to Walt Whitman, an Americanized Belgian-style wit, Leaves of Lemongrass. With our irreverent style, we also caught the attention of beer publicist and idea man, Marty Jones. With his help, we have seen an influx of attention as we expand our tiny brewpub.

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

Realizing I am surrounded by people as bold, intrepid, disciplined, and, most of all, crazy as I am.

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

Snowboarding has always been the only activity that guarantees I can leave my day-to-day worries and responsibilities behind and focus on one thing: not dying.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

The Munchies pizza and Dank IPA.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Even after seven years co-habitating with my crazy ass, the love of my life was still willing to say “YES” when I asked her to marry me.

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

Ska’s Modus Hoperandi has always had a very special place in my heart.

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

My grandfather invited us to Aptos, Calif. for a nostalgic family reunion. I was very happy to explore the brews along the Pacific Coast Highway with family.

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