Mike Gauthier

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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 head brewer at Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Co. in Des Moines, Iowa. I got started in the business in 2001 washing kegs and working in the bottle shop at Great Divide Brewing Co.

What’s new at Court Avenue?

State laws changed in the past few years that allowed us to brew beers stronger than 6 percent, so having that opportunity means big beers are what’s new at CABCO right now. I’ve got an imperial rice beer hopped with Sorachi Ace in the fermenter and a quad aging in rum barrels right now, and will be brewing Puddledocker, my double ESB, again very soon.

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

I think the camaraderie is the best part of the industry. It really is a brotherhood.

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

The two things that I enjoy the most when I’m not at the brewery are biking and spending time with my kids. I’m fortunate to have trails I can roll to right near home, so I get to ride to and from work six months out of the year. The kids are riding more now so I get to enjoy my two favorite things together.

What’s your favorite beer and food pairing?

Beer and cheese, hands down. Blue cheese and imperial stout, IPA and cheddar, pretty much anything that involves those two things.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to brewing?

Without a doubt, my kids are the two greatest things I’ve ever done outside of brewing. Yeah, they drive me nuts at times, but they are absolutely amazing.

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

So many beers, so little time. I enjoy Allagash, Short’s, and Russian River’s beers quite a bit. I really like Smuttynose’s Big A IPA, so if I had to pick one, that would probably be it.

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

Probably getting back to Colorado for vacations and GABF. In particular, being able to get up to Summit County and enjoying beers from all the brewers in such a beautiful place is something that always puts a big smile on my face.

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