What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m the founding brewmaster at Parkway Brewing Co. in Salem, Va. Like a lot of folks in this industry, I got my start homebrewing. My mother got me a homebrewing kit for my birthday in my early 20s and I was hooked. I met my wife a few years later and she encouraged me to pursue my passion, so I enrolled in “beer school” with the Siebel Institute and then at Doemens Academy in Munich.
What’s new at Parkway Brewing?
We are growing like crazy, and just launched a collaboration with the band Southern Culture on the Skids. It’s an imperial stout called For Lovers Only and is aged on French oak and Mexican vanilla beans. We also just planned a launch of Gose in the next couple of months in between our spring and summer seasonals; The Remedy, our Americanized take on an alt beer; and Factory Girl, our session IPA. We plan to do the baseline gose and play with some fruit additions, including making our own riff on a Salty Dog by adding grapefruit. We plan to get some guava and passion fruit in a few batches, too. We also plan to do a Brett version of our Belgian blonde when the weather warms a bit.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The people are the best! As a brewer we have a great community that helps each other out when we can, especially here in Virginia. We have an extraordinary group of customers, too. They are always interested in learning new things about our beer and the brewing industry as a whole, and are receptive to new products and ideas.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I’m a big fan of soccer. The brewery sponsors a team in the local men’s league that I captain and we also play in random tournaments throughout the year. I also love to learn how to cook new dishes, especially in the Asian category. I love Thai food!
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
I’m a sucker for IPA and Thai drunken noodles to accentuate the spiciness of the dish. Also, a barleywine with some nice blue cheese. There are so many great combos to play with in the beer and cheese realm.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I spent most of my college years traveling and trying to see as much of the world as I could. I loved seeing the regional food, cultures, and beers/beverages of choice that people enjoyed and how they enjoyed them.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
At the moment it’s BFM’s Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien if I want something sour. If I’m in the mood for hops (when am I not?) it’s Victory’s Hop Ranch. For something dark, Hardywood Park’s Raspberry Stout.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Dusseldorf. There was just something about the town and of course the alt beers! I think my favorite was Uerige. It had a great pub atmosphere and the Uerige-Haxe! Mmm, pork shank’