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: JEFF BULL
CO-AUTHOR OF: HEBREWING
Beer Blogger Interview
Full name: Jeff Bull
Twitter handle: @hebrewbrewing / @bullseyebrewco
Name of blog: HEBREWING
Current location: Reno, NV
1. Where did you grow up?
2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?
Played some unofficial sports, like Disc golf, and basketball (recreationally)
3. How old were you when you had your first beer?
Ooh, at the good ole age of 19
4. If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it?
My co-worker took me to a bar near where we lived, for my first Black & Tan. And yes, it was Guinness on Bass
5. Where, if applicable, did you go to college? What did you study? What additional activities, organizations, sports did you partake in during college?
Did a 3-year stint at Cypress College (Cypress, CA). Was enrolled in the computer science program, but realized pretty quick that wasn’t for me. Since I worked full-time, there wasn’t a lot of time for ‘recreational’ activities, but did find some time for amateur photography. Oh, had a blast in the Forensics club at that school as well.
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 definitely hit me when I was in Seattle, WA for the first time. Headed down to Pike’s Market, mostly to see the fish mongers throwing their catches all over. At this point, I wasn’t home brewing, and definitely knew very little about Craft beer. Noticed a brewery inside the market (the Pike), so of course I needed to drop in. Ordered their sampler, and had my first taste of a Scotch Ale. That beer blew me away! Honestly had no idea that beer could be that flavorful, or complex; Pretty much knew, right then, that I had just found a new love/passion.
2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:
First Saison (La Merle) and first IPA (Dogfish Head 60-minute)…both solidified one major characteristic of Craft beer: No style is set in stone. Every brewer has his/her own take on what a style should taste like, and that makes me want to try them all so much more.
Beer Blog Background
1. How long have you been writing your beer blog?
Being on the board of HeBrew Men’s Brewing Society, my primary role has always been the ‘tech’ guy…since its’ what I do full-time. I’m not much of a code writer, but thoroughly enjoy keeping content up-to-date & relevant, at the group’s site (hebrewbrewing.com). Started my own [personal] blog sometime ago, but have only recently pushed on it heavy. Discovering the benefit(s) of the twitter-verse, and other social networks really helped me to realize how much fun it can be to join in on the Craft Beer conversation.
2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?
Home brewing…definitely. Brewing in my garage, on a relaxing evening, is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had; Wanted to be able to share that with anyone who is interested in listening.
3. Why did you choose the name of your blog?
Lol, pretty simple…my last name is Bull….so, bullseyebrewing.net was born. Cliché? Probably….does it matter….nah!
4. What are you personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it?
Biggest focus of any blogging, tweeting, podcasting I do is to help promote our brewing group, and bring anyone interested in brewing at home to a helpful information base. Home brewing is my passion, and as a group, we really want to reach out to people….give them an unassuming place to learn more about it. For my own blog? Just have a good time. Brewing at home isn’t stopping, anytime soon, so why not chronicle whatever I can!
5. What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger?
Meeting some truly awesome people! Heck, got a chance to meet (gratuitous name drop) @thebeerwench, @Lost_in_beer, @abbijayne…all in one night! Also, have had an opportunity to talk about that one thing we all love, Craft Beer, with many great people on the web. That makes this all worth while!
6. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?
1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?
Saison, Scotch Ale, IPA
2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?
Dogfish Head, The Bruery, Knee Deep Brewing
3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?
Definitely the Bruery. Had a chance to visit their tasting room (Placentia, CA) last year, and try brews like Mélange No.6, and Black Orchard on tap. For such a new, and relatively small operation, can’t imagine how innovative their brew masters must be, to come up with the variations they do. Just to be a fly on the wall would be a treat.
4. Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer?
Yep, and loving every second of it. Well, I’m sure most people wouldn’t think a Hefeweizen was very unique, but I have a recipe that includes steeping with sweet-dried orange peel (after the boil). Such a simple ingredient gives the brew a nice citrus flavor, without overpowering it.
5. Do you have any beer certifications (BJCP, Cicerone, Siebel, American Brewers Guild)?? If so, what are they?
Not right now, but it’s on my to-do list for the next 5 years.
6. What is your favorite beer and food pairing?
Hmm, it’d have to be either Porter and German-chocolate cake….OR, a good Kölsch with a well basted plate of ribs
The Personal Side
1. What is your current day job?
Network Specialist for Harley-Davidson
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?
Start a brewery, no question! I love it….you get to be creative, innovative, and just have fun with something you love. How could that possibly be a bad thing?!
3. Are you married? Children?
Nope & Nope
4. Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?
Working projects around the house, Reading, and Cycling
Off The Beaten Path
1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be an why?
IPA. Bitter & robust, always a reminder to an imbiber not to take you lightly
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?
One of the only beers I may never get a chance too…Pliny the Younger
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?
Would be a Black Belgium. Possibly a little spice (coriander, clove, cinnamon)…would draw people in with it’s smooth look, but remind them quickly that it’s not a brew to underestimate
4. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?
Ok, well, in my first car….’72 Duster (yep, Al Bundy’s car)…decided ‘hey, you know what would be fun?!’ let’s go driving around southern cali, at 60mph, in a rainstorm. Of course, when your 17, this sort of thing seems like an epiphany right? So there we are, racing around Long Beach, well over the speed limit, in a car with only drum brakes, when I lock all 4 wheels up, and proceed to slide through an intersection…sideways. This wouldn’t have been nearly as freaky, except that it was a red light for me. As soon as we made it through, the car straightened out…brakes unlocked, and was back on the road. Ahh, good times!
5. What are your thoughts on bacon?
It, along with butter, cheese, and garlic, makes everything better. Pork fat rules!!!!!!!
SPECIAL THANKS TO JEFF FOR AN AWESOME INTERVIEW!