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: THE BREW DUDES
AUTHORS OF: BREW DUDES
Beer Blogger Interview
1. Where did you grow up?
We both grew up in Billerica, Massachusetts.
2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?
3. How old were you when you had your first beer?
Mike: Tasted beer at maybe 12, didn’t really start drinking until 19.
John: I think I was 12 or 13.
4. If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it?
Mike: Sipping my Dads Budweiser at a family BBQ in the back yard. There’s really, not much story to it.
John: I probably had a few sips from my grandfather’s PBR.
5. Where, if applicable, did you go to college? What did you study? What additional activities, organizations, sports did you partake in during college?
Mike: UNH, Biochemistry; Rec sports and a couple Campus Activities Committees.
John: Emerson College and I studied Mass Communications. I was the program director of WERS for a year while I was there.
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:
Mike: Guinness Irish Stout was the first beer that really opened my eyes to how different beers could be. At that time Guinness was pretty much one of the most unique things available. I had been drinking Sam Adams for the most part, but then went to my first Irish-styled pub near college. Its smoothness and depth of character was the most dramatic part that I remember. Drinking that beer made me start to really wonder how beer was made and what made different beers different. This eventually sprouted into my passion for homebrewing.
John: I would have to say that Sam Adams was my first connection to craft beer. At the time, I thought the color was outrageous. I mean, it wasn’t straw-colored…this has to be something special. I remember the mouthfeel and the bitterness were very different from what I was drinking. It seemed to have a lot more presence than whatever other beers I could get my hands on.
2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:
Mike: Sour beers in general have opened a new style catagory for me. Traditional lambics and berliner wiesse are now some of my most sought after offerings when I go to good beer stores or big beer-fests. Oddly, enough it started with a bottle of Sam Adams Cranberry lambic. Regardless, of what people think of that beer NOW, it was pretty revolutionary for the Boston Beer Company and most beer drinkers back in the late 90s. I remember taking my first sip from a 22oz bomber at a party. No one else liked it so I guzzled it down and loved it. It wasn’t until years later that I got a hold of some Lindemans Kriek and thought it too sweet, but it was still interesting. After having beers like Cantillion Kriek, DFH Festina Peche, and a special kriek from Cambridge Brewing Company that I really fell in love with the style.
Beer Blog Background
1. How long have you been writing your beer blog?
2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?
We saw it as a good opportunity to start putting some of our own ideas about brewing and beer into words, and to share experiences with others.
Also, we wanted to become a part of the larger community of homebrewing outside of just brewing some beers in the garage once and a while.
3. Why did you chose the name of your blog?
We are just two dudes that like to brew.
4. What are you personal goals for your blog?
What do you hope to achieve with it? We hope to just reach a wide audience, stimulate good conversation, and help other new brewers along their path to better brewing.
5. What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger?
Getting the occasional free sampling from breweries, getting highlighted in BYO’s “Homebrew Nation” section.
6. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?
Brookston Beer Bulletin, Andy Crouch BeerScribe, Beer Advocate.
1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?
English style session ales (primarily Northern Brown Ale and Ordinary Bitter), Oatmeal Stout, Berliner Wiesse
2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?
Wachusett Brewing, Allagash Brewing and Cantillion
3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?
Allagash Brewing company has several great regular offerings, but they continue to experiment and push their own envelopes to keep the line up fresh. I think many a good brewery has lost favor because eventually no one wants to keep drinking their Pale Ale, Golden Ale or Amber anymore. Allagash strikes a great balance between great standard offerings and new and inventive special/seasonal releases.
4. Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer?
Oh yeah, we are homebrewers!
Mike: My most unique brew is a big 15 gallon batch of beer I make then split into three secondaries to flavor with Strawberries, Blueberries, or straight up. I served it last July at our Independence Day cookout and called it Red Wheat and Blue.
John: I split a honey wheat ale into two parts. One I bottled and let condition as normal. The other part I put in a glass fermenter with a gallon of a honey/water solution. Two distinctly different beers from one batch.
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?
Mike: Oatmeal Stout and Tiramisu.
John: Dry Stout and beef stew
The Personal Side
1. What is your current day job?
Mike: Biochemist for a large pharmaceutical company.
John: Online marketer for travel site.
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?
Mike: I would maybe get into Public Health policy.
3. Are you married? Children?
Yes and yes
4. Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?
Outdoor recreational sports; like hiking, paddling, fishing and camping.
Off The Beaten Path
1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be and why?
Mike: I’d be a super sour and bitter IPA that no one would touch!
John: An ESB. I think I would like to be a session beer.
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?
Mike: I’d chug a Carrabasett Pale Ale (it’s no longer available though so I guess I’d meet my maker with a dry palate.)
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?
Mike: I’d make a rich Amber ale with a black pepper finish and a bit of smoked malt to it. (Maybe get the black pepper essence from a Belgian yeast profile)
John: Probably a Saison. Complex and spicy.
4. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Mike: I’d want to be able to generate heat with my hands so I wouldn’t have to wait so long to get water to boil in the brewpot.
5. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?
Maybe another time over beers……
6. What are your thoughts on bacon?
Along with some perfectly cooked eggs, white toast and a side of hash, it’s as close to godliness as you can get.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE BREW DUDES FOR AN AWESOME INTERVIEW!