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: ANDY COPPOCK
AUTHOR OF: ANDY THE BEERMAN
Beer Blogger Interview
Full name: Andy Coppock
Internet nickname (if applicable): Andy the Beerman
Twitter handle: @andythebeerman
Name of blog: Andy The Beerman (I’m nothing if not consistent)
Current location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Where did you grow up? Vista, CA (North San Diego County)
- What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond? Played a little Pop Warner football, but mostly baseball up to high school.
- How old were you when you had your first beer? Geez, probably 10 or 11.
- If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it? I’m foggy on the details. My dad and my uncles were notorious imbibers, so there was always cold beer around. But I’m sure it was an off brand, cheap macro swill like Lucky Lager or Schaeffers
- Where, if applicable, did you go to college? What did you study? What additional activities, organizations, sports did you partake in during college. I made it through a year of Junior College, studying English and Broadcasting. I later went to Broadcasting school and was an on-air DJ for 3-4 years
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.”
- What was your first craft beer epiphany? Recall as many details about it as you can: I don’t know if there was an epiphany, per se. I do clearly recall being in high school drinking cheap beer with friends and realizing how crappy it tasted. Whenever we got beer from then on, I insisted on getting ‘something dark’. The only choices were Heineken, Lowenbrau or St Pauli Dark.
- Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish: I remember when I was 19 or 20 some roommates and I decided to try as many different beers as we could find. Back in the early 80’s there weren’t really any craft beers to be had, so it was strictly imports. We tried everything in the case at Liquor Barn. My buddies disliked most everything but the Euro Lagers, but I fell in love with the Dunkels, Bocks, Porters, Stouts and the like. I had no concept of hops, malts, yeasts or any of that. I just knew I wanted flavor!
Beer Blog Background
- How long have you been writing your beer blog? I started blogging a bit back in San Diego 3-4 years ago, but have only gotten more serious about it in the last 18 months or so.
- What inspired you to start writing your blog? It was just a way to share and post my tasting notes, and my thoughts about where craft beer was going and where it was taking me.
- Why did you chose the name of your blog? I got the nickname from some sports talk radio guys in San Diego. I got to know them pretty well, and while I worked at Green Flash I delivered a couple cases to them on the air. When they had events, I always brought a keg or 2 of homebrew. I went from just Andy in Vista to “Andy The Beerman”. Everyone at the station and all of the people I met only called me “Andy The Beerman” or just “Beerman”, so it kind of stuck. (my 15 y/o son would even call the station as “Beerman Junior”
- What are you personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it? I never really thought about goals for the blog. I’ve been told that my passion for beer needed to be shared, so I started blogging. People say that my passion comes through in my writing as well. I just want to be a ‘beervangelist’ and share the love, passion, and joy of good beer.
- What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger? My favorite happened last summer. I was visiting family in California, and visiting one of my best friends who works at Stone Brewing. He hooked me up with Dr. Bill Sysak, whom I had met a few times before. When Bill found out I was visiting from Canada and writing, he made me a ‘VIP’ for the weekend. Bill even invited me to go on an amazing pub crawl with 2 of the brewers from New Belgium, the managers of Brouwers Café, several pub owners and brewers from San Diego and Dr Bill himself. We wound up at Toronado SD and Ian, the manager, broke open the cellar for us! We ran up a bar tab of over $2000…and it was comped! (Thanks again, Ian!) The next day was the Stone Sour Fest, I got put on the guest list, ushered to the VIP section, and treated like royalty by the Stone staff as well as many of the ‘big-time’ beer geeks in attendance! All for being a little blog writer from Vancouver…Wow!
- What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites? Right now I spend a lot of time on Lee Williams’ site, Hoptopia. I’ve been posting quite a few reviews on Beer Voice, and always check out Rick Green’s BC Brews site. I’m also going to be posting BC beer news on http://nwbeerguide.blogspot.com/
- What are your top 3 favorite beer styles? I have an affinity for Sours, IPA’s and Barrel Aged beers.
- What are your top 3 favorite breweries? That’s really hard. For US brewers, Lost Abbey of course, The Bruery, and right now, Deschutes for their special releases. In Canada, it’s Central City Brewing, hands down. They make the best IPA in the country, and even made the top 10 ‘American IPA’ list on Beer Advocate
- If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why? I would have to say Port Brewing/Lost Abbey. The combined knowledge of their Brewmaster, Tomme Arthur, their brewpub brewers like Jeff Bagby would be amazing to soak up. Working with Chuck Silva at Green Flash would be a close second.
- Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer? I’ve been homebrewing for about 10 years. Surprisingly, I’ve been somewhat conservative with my recipes for the most part, but I’m getting more experimental all the time. I recently brewed an IPA with Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand that was out of this world. I think my favorite was a pumpkin amber I brewed a few years ago.
- Do you have any beer certifications (BJCP, Cicerone, Siebel, American Brewers Guild)?? If so, what are they? No certifications yet. I’m studying for the Cicerone and hope to enroll in the Craft Brewers Apprenticeship program at The American Brewers Guild.
- What is your favorite beer and food pairing? Beer and Stinky Cheese!
The Personal Side
- What is your current day job? Currently, I’m a full time dad. In my spare time(such as it is) I write, and I’m also a founding member of Vancouver Craft Beer Week. Our inaugural event was May 10-16 2010, so I’ve been busy! VCBW was an unqualified success, we had dozens of events and sold out every one! We’re already planning for 2011!
- 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? Working for a brewery, no question. I really want to learn the brewhouse side of the a production brewery. Eventually I’d love to have my own brewery or brewpub.
- Are you married? Children? Married for 7 years in May to the most incredible woman in the world. 3 boys, ages 15, 6, and 2.
- Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies? I love to cook. I love to get in the kitchen, roll up my sleeves and create.
Off The Beaten Path
- If you were a style of beer, what style would be an why? A West Coast style IPA. I can be a bit assertive at first, yet when you spend time with me, you find out I’m pretty well balanced.
- 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? Probably something from Cantillon.
- 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? I’d probably go for something along the lines of a Belgian IPA. Blond, assertive, spicy…for extras, I’d go with a hint of cilantro and roasted peppers.
- If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? A bulls**t detector. I can’t stand poseurs, phonies or liars.
- What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story? My lawyers advise me not to comment…
- What are your thoughts on bacon? (Channeling Homer Simpson) Mmmmmm, bacon! Right now I’m working on a recipe for Bacon Ice Cream. I’m waffling between using candied bacon or chocolate covered bacon…
SPECIAL THANKS TO ANDY FOR AN AWESOME INTERVIEW!