DRINK WITH THE WENCH PRESENTS:
The Beer Blogger Interview Series
Curious what goes on in the minds of your favorite beer bloggers? Well, The Beer Wench is and she has embarked upon a mission to interview as many beer bloggers that she can — from all over the world. Are you a beer blogger? Do you want to share your story? Send me an email!
INTRODUCING: JOSHUA D
AUTHOR OF: LOST IN THE BEER AISLE
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town in Vermont. 1500 people in this town. Unfortunately I don’t have fond memories of the place. My graduating class had 23 kids in it. Small numbers to pick friends from. I couldn’t leave for college quick enough!
2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?
Even though it was a small town, basketball was like religion. I played from 5th grade until I graduated high school. In 5th grade we were sat down by the couch and some parents and told how when we got to high school we were going to win the state championship or die trying. My junior and senior year we did just that…back to back. Ahhh…small town glory. I also played baseball and we sucked.
3. How old were you when you had your first beer?
There is a picture showing my grandfather with a 3-year-old me on his lap. I have a Budweiser in my hand. I think the photo was for laughs, but I also think I took a sip. My first full beer wasn’t until freshman year in college probably!
4. If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it?
It may not have been the VERY first beer in college, but the one I most vividly remember was when we were partying at a friend’s house during a week long semester break. His dad bought us a 30 rack of Busch Light. The guy was a huge dude…hands like a bear. A “real” man. He tossed me the brew and I couldn’t let him down so we all chugged together.
5. Where, if applicable, did you go to college? What did you study? What additional activities, organizations, sports did you partake in during college?
Nashua, NH Computer Science. The only sport I partook in during college was drinking! After a couple solid years of boozing and making the best friends of my life I decided that I should probably get an education and I transferred to a college in Andover, MA.
Craft Beer Epiphany
Every craft beer enthusiast has at least one pinnacle craft beer experience that completely changes ones perspective on beer. I refer to this mind-blowing moment as a “craft beer epiphany.”
1. What was your first craft beer epiphany? Recall as many details about it as you can:
It happened earlier this year! I had recently moved and was checking out the local liquor store one day. I was blown away at their selection of beer. Over 1000 different types of beer. On top of that they let you buy individual bottles. I purchased a few different bottles that day and immediately decided I wanted to keep trying new stuff even though I didn’t have the first clue about tasting beer.
2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:
I actually can’t take credit for my second epiphany. My wife had the epiphany for me! That happens a lot in our relationship. The story goes that for a few months I was trying various beers, snapping photos of them, and posting them to my Facebook account. I was gradually adding more and more detail to the captions of these pictures until they started resembling beer reviews.
My wife encouraged me to start a blog. Her argument was that I was basically already doing the work via Facebook. After a few weeks of procrastinating I finally took her advice. That’s all history now. The website has really taken off since then. I’ve learned sooooo much about beer and I’m having a great time doing it.
Beer Blog Background
1. How long have you been writing your beer blog?
Since Spring 2009
2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?
See epiphanies above.
3. Why did you chose the name of your blog?
The idea behind my blog is that you don’t have to know a lot about beer to enjoy it. And what you don’t know, you can certainly learn. I had been to a lot of beer blogging sites that were nerdy and intimidating and I wanted to make my blog the exact opposite. The name was a collaborative effort. I polled a bunch of friends to get ideas. Someone came up with the word “Lost” to describe being confused. “in the beer aisle” came to me in a dream. OK, not really. It came to me while I was sitting at work on day goofing off. And there you have it…Lost in the Beer Aisle.
4, What are you personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it?
I hope I can continue to reach out to beer-newbies. I also hope to get more beer-newbies to come and do guest reviews on my site. If you’re reading this right now, that’s an open invitation! Ultimately, I hope I continue to blog in a way that is unintimidating for the beer-newb, but also interesting to those of you who know a thing or two about beer.
5. What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger?
Nothing major to this point. Robert Wolaver posted a comment to my blog once. That was pretty neat. Unfortunately it was a review of a beer that I hated. The beer had gone bad, so it wasn’t Wolaver’s fault. The next coolest thing that happened was when I mentioned to the folks at Flying Dog (via twitter) that I couldn’t find Horn Dog at my liquor store. They immediately replied and asked for the name of my liquor store. I had 2 cases of Horn Dog waiting for me the next time I went booze shopping. Pretty cool…
6. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?
That’s tough. I follow some ridiculous number of beer blogs via Google Reader (like 100-150). There isn’t a single one that I am particularly loyal to.
1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?
If you asked me this before I started my blog, I could have answered. I was always a HUGE hefewiezen fan, followed by any other wheat beer. Since I started blogging, I’ve found that there is virtually nothing I dislike. I’m really getting tired of the monotony of IPAs, but that’s a rant for another time. Anyway, back to the question. Let’s say: Wheat beers, Imperial Stouts and (sweet) Barley Wines.
2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?
Dogfish Head, Flying Dog, North Coast
3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?
Dogfish Head is incredibly intriguing. I value uniqueness over many other factors in a beer, and Dogfish has uniqueness down. Furthermore, they don’t sacrifice flavor to achieve this. I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall for just one day to see how they manage to come up with such wild, yet delicious brews. They are so far ahead of basically every brewery out there…how the heck are they consistently staying ahead?
4. Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer?
Heck no. I have too much of EVERYONE ELSE’S beer to drink. I can’t think about brewing my own.
5. Do you have any beer certifications (BJCP, Cicerone, Siebel, American Brewers Guild)?? If so, what are they?
6. What is your favorite beer and food pairing?
Beer and nothing. Seriously…I do 90% of my drinking at night long after dinner.
The Personal Side
1. What is your current day job?
I’m a project manager in the IT industry.
2. If you could change your career at this very moment, without any restrictions on what you could do, what would you want to do and why?
If that means that money is no object, I’d buy a golf course, hire a staff to take care of it, and spend my days playing golf. At night I’d spend my time reviewing beer. If you mean more down-to-earth, I honestly don’t know. I love my job. I work with awesome people and I would definitely miss that interaction. I don’t want to do my job forever, but for now I’m very happy.
3. Are you married? Children?
Married for 6+ years. No kids. I’m not having kids until I’m done being a kid!!!
Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies? Golf, World War 2 history, Playstation 3
Off The Beaten Path
1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be an why?
I’m a simple down-to-earth kinda guy, but I’m also slightly insane, so this is a tough choice. I guess I’ll say I’m a light beer that is slightly fruity. You know…that kind of beer that you know has fruit in there, but you can’t figure out what kind.
2. You were caught smuggling beer illegally, which has now been made punishable by death. Right before you are sent to the executioner, you are offered one last beer. What beer would you chose and why?
Something thick. Imperial Stout. No specific beer in mind. Just give me something I can milk for a little while.
3. If I contracted you to brew a beer (or design a beer recipe) called “The Beer Wench” — what style would you chose and what, if any, extra ingredients would you add?
The term “Beer Wench” reminds me of lederhosen and Germany. The beer would have to be a lightish wheat beer. The kind that you can easily down. Lord knows you’re going to have to fill up your GIANT stein with the stuff 3-4 times.
4. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I’ve had irritable bowel for 10 years. The 12-year old in me would insist that I have some superpowers surrounding that. Use your imagination.
5. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?
Only dumb stuff fits into this category for me. The “best” one is when I totaled my car and walked away. Hint: Don’t go 80MPH in a torrential downpour. Your car WILL hydroplane. You might slam into a guardrail on one side of a 3-lane highway, shoot across two lanes and T-Bone a 30ft race car trailer, and then fly back across the lanes, stopping in the fast lane with large sections of your car missing.
6. What are your thoughts on bacon?
I’m a vegetarian. That said, back when I ate bacon it was DAMN yummy. It will slowly kill you, but delicious nonetheless. I frequently have fake bacon, which is (hopefully) less deadly.
SPECIAL THANKS TO JOSH FOR AN AWESOME INTERVIEW!