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: JOHN KLEINCHESTER
AUTHOR OF: BEERTOGRAPHY
Beer Blogger Interview
1. Where did you grow up?
2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?
I ran cross country in high school. Nowadays its mostly biking in the warm weather and skiing in the cold.
3. How old were you when you had your first beer?
First sip probably when I was 8 or so. First full beer was at about 16.
4. If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it?
I had my first few sips of beer from my Dad’s Coors Light in the kitchen of my childhood home. My Dad let me try it and I didn’t like it at all. Funny that I’ve come full circle with my feelings toward fizzy yellow beer.
5. Where, if applicable, did you go to college? What did you study? What additional activities, organizations, sports did you partake in during college?
I studied History at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. I was also a part of the Senior Class Cabinet. Other than that, I partook in drinking horrible (yet cheap) beer.
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:
For months I had been reading online about this mythical beer called Hopslam that was the supposed best beer in the world. At the time I was mostly drinking light beer and the occasional Hoegaarden and some Yuengling. Finally I got the opportunity to trade for some Hopslam. When it arrived, I drank it (out of the bottle, oops) and my tastebuds nearly exploded out of my face. I would never be the same again.
2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:
My homebrewing epiphany came in 2007, when my two friends and I decided to go in on homebrewing equipment together. You can actually see our first adventure in homebrewing on youtube.
Beer Blog Background
1. How long have you been writing your beer blog?
My first post was in March of 2009.
2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?
I was starting to amass tons of photos of beer and I wanted to share them with friends in a more interesting way rather than just emailing or uploading them to a website. The blog provided for me a format where I could highlight the stories behind the photos as well.
3. Why did you choose the name of your blog?
Beer + photography = beertography. Simple!
4. What are you personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it?
I hope to entertain, geek out a little bit and just sort of chronicle my adventures in beer and homebrewing.
5. What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger?
The connections and friends I’ve made through the blog have been tremendous. Its been said that #beerpeopleRgoodpeople and its more than true.
6. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?
1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?
Right now its Northern English Brown, Smoke Ale and Saison.
2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?
Cigar City, Russian River and Three Floyds at the moment.
3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?
Founders in Grand Rapids, MI is an amazing place. You really can’t go wrong combining a brewery, music venue and restaurant all in one!
4. Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer?
My brewing team and I won Third Place Best of Show at the NYC Homebrewer’s Competition for our Smoke Ale. It tastes like bacon! We also won an award for our English Barleywine that we aged in the bottle for 2 years. We’ll also be pouring our homebrew at the upcoming Get Real NY Cask Ale & Real Food Festival.
5. Do you have any beer certifications (BJCP, Cicerone, Siebel, American Brewers Guild)?? If so, what are they?
Not yet, but I’d love to get my BJCP and Cicerone certification some day.
6. What is your favorite beer and food pairing?
New Glarus Raspberry Tart with Dark Chocolate. Unreal.
The Personal Side
1. What is your current day job?
Post Production Coordinator at MTV Networks.
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?
Open my own nanobrewery and/or open a growler-filling store in my neighborhood. Surprised?
3. Are you married? Children?
Not married, but live with the girlfriend.
4. Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?
I try to ride my road bike around as much as possible, it also helps burn off all of those beers!
Off The Beaten Path
1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be and why?
I would be a porter. Sessionable yet delicious.
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?
Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout – it seems to perfectly bring together all of the flavors I’d want in a beer.
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?
How about an American Pale Ale with some chipotle peppers? Hoppy and spicy together at last!
4. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
The ability to turn drunken-ness on and off at any given time. Too many times I’ve had amazing beers late in the night, only to find myself unable to recall all its nuances in the morning.
5. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?
I suppose it would be driving across the country with 3 high school friends the summer after our freshman year in college. We did NJ->CA and then back to NJ via the southern route, all in 12 days time.
6. What are your thoughts on bacon?
As long as its organic/all natural/etc, I’m all about it.
SPECIAL THANKS TO JOHN FOR AN AWESOME INTERVIEW!