Featured Beer Blogger: JOSEPH LEMNAH 2


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!





Beer Blogger Interview

Full name: Joseph Lemnah
Twitter handle: HopfenTreader
Name of blog: HopfenTreader
Current location: Mid-Atlantic


Background “Snapshot”

1. Where did you grow up?

Essex Junction. A small town ten miles east of Burlington, VT.

2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?

Played a little of everything growing up. Soccer, football, basketball, tennis, baseball, and hockey.

3. How old were you when you had your first beer?

Can’t remember, but remember I didn’t like it.

4. If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it?

First beer I’ll take as a nice way to say, “first time drunk”. In which case it was in Montreal age 16, drinking Labatt Blue, Molson Export and soaking in St. Catherine St. Sorry mom.

5. Where, if applicable, did you go to college? What did you study? What additional activities, organizations, sports did you partake in during college?

Took classes at Community College in Vermont and the University of Vermont but decided to not continue with higher education and travel cross country instead.

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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 was Blind Faith brewed by Magic Hat. I was 19 or 20 and didn’t really drink. I had older roommates who bought all the Vermont craft beer so I started trying them all. Blind Faith I single out because I was enjoying the Otter Creek Copper and Long Trail Ale, but the Blind Faith I tried a few times and didn’t like. Then one day I tried it and had that first acquired taste moment, thinking “oh, I see”.

2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:

Sour and Funky beers. More of a love at first sip moment though with sour beers such as, Duchess de Bourgogne.


Beer Blog Background

1. How long have you been writing your beer blog?

Started writing it Jan. 09’

2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?

I was inspired by all the great blogs that existed.

3. Why did you chose the name of your blog?

On Page 47 of Randy Mosher’s Radical Brewing book there is a picture in the upper right hand corner of an old pair of leather shoes. Caption reads, “The shoes of the Hopfentreader, from the hallertauer district”. For me the name has become to symbolize part of my brewing pilgrimage.

4. What are you personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it?

To document a digital home brew journal.

5. What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger?

Doing cross country collaborative home brew offs. One with Simply Beer and 7 others, and another, Jan. 24th #xbrew with 9 others.

6. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?

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Beer Talk

1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?

IPA, Stouts, Saisons

2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?


3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?

Jolly Pumpkin. Barrel fermentation, bugs, blending, sounds fun.

4. Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer?

I just brew what inspires me, check out my blog and see if anything is unique and interests you.

5. Do you have any beer certifications (BJCP, Cicerone, Siebel, American Brewers Guild)?? If so, what are they?

Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering Diploma from American Brewers Guild 07’

6. What is your favorite beer and food pairing?

Brown Ale and Burger, White/Saison and Mussels, IPA and curry. I like the classics.

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The Personal Side

1. What is your current day job?

Been brewing professionally since 2006.

  • Nov 06’-o7’ Old Saratoga Brewing Co.
  • Nov 07’-09’ Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • Presently at Evolution Craft Brewery

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?

I did that already…but at this point I’m looking to start my own brewery.

3. Are you married? Children?

I’m still young.

4. Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?

Anything outside, kayaking, hiking, skiing, tennis.

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Off The Beaten Path

1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be and why?

The origin of style came from brewers of the past using the ingredients they had available to make something quaffable. Limited by a combination of local water, grains, hops and process differences, created uniquely different beers in the old world. These ingredients and water “limitations”, created English Porters and Pales, German Doppelbocks and Weizens, and Czech Pilsners.

Beer styles created from using what was available, in theory, making the best of what you have. Brewers of old didn’t set out to create the above mentioned beer styles, I believe they set out to brew quaffable beers which created the styles.

Today brewers control water profiles and have access to the malt, hops and even yeast that these beers were created from. It is fun to recreate and clone beers, but the challenge that inspires me is to blend the old traditions at the same time brewing something uniquely my own. Using different grains or spices to twist the style. It’s a true highpoint of international craft beer style offerings available today. What was the question?

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?

Home brew, of course.

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?

We’d have to sit down over a few pints before I could determine that. I can’t contract brew blind.

4. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

Heat and Chemical proof, so I could stir the mash with my arms and shower in hot caustic.

5. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?

So far, life.

6. What are your thoughts on bacon?

Bacon is ok, but rendered pork belly fat used to fry pommes frites is better.

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About The Beer Wench

Ashley is a self-proclaimed craft beer evangelist & social media maven on a mission to advance the craft beer industry through education, inspiration and advocacy. She is currently the “Director of Awesomeness” at Bison Brewing in Berkeley, CA — where her responsibilities include everything from marketing, sales, PR, social media & events. Ashley is also a freelance consultant and professional speaker on the subjects of social media, beer mixology, food & beverage pairings. She is the founder of DrinkWithTheWench.com & BeerMixology.com as well as a regular contributor to CraftBeer.com.

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