Will Johnston

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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 the head brewer and brewery manager at 4 Hands Brewing Company [in St. Louis, Mo.].

What’s new at 4 Hands?

We are a new brewery, so everything is new. We are currently brewing our core line, which includes a blond ale brewed with elder flowers; a single-hop red ale using Centennial hops; an oatmeal brown ale; and a rye IPA. We have also brewed an imperial IPA, a Russian imperial stout with espresso and whole vanilla beans, and a saison with pear juice, white pepper, and orange zest. We also have started our barrel aging program. The creativity is definitely flowing.

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

The unity the brewers share. Everybody shares the same goal which is to make the best beer they can. That’s why this industry is so much fun to be a part of.

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

Ski, hike, rock climb, and mountain bike.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

Very spicy Thai food and hoppy IPAs.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

I am very lucky that I have been able to travel. I have met a lot of interesting people along the way who became very good friends.

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

Orval. I love that beer.

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

Bamberg, Germany. The town is beautiful and to drink a Rauch bier in such a unique setting was extremely memorable.

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