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Featured Beer Blogger: ANDREW DUNFEE

Written by The Beer Wench. Posted in Blogger Interviews

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Featured Beer Blogger: ANDREW DUNFEE

Published on August 12, 2010 with No Comments


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: Andrew Dunfee
Twitter handle: @adunfee
Name of blog: Hippo Lane
Current location: Denver, CO

Background “Snapshot”

1. Where did you grow up?

Pickerington, OH. It’s a suburb of Columbus. It was all farms once. There are now two high schools. I think the football coach is gone. They put in some street lights, a few signs, made it real pretty.

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

I played basketball during lunch in high school. Junior year I realized sweat is not hot. 13 years later (aka 6 months ago) I realized, again, that basketball is fun. I now play in a league and shower after the games. They have liquid soap dispensers.

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


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 think this guy said, “Here, drink this. It’ll put hair on your chest.” I remember a diving board, orange arm floaties, a pool. If that didn’t actually happen, I know there was this time when I went to a bar on the way to go camping. My head was not yet to the top of the stool. People smoked in bars back then, too.

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

Ohio University. I studied business. I wanted to study history. I really dug the Reformation and American Indians classes. I had a band called Loesha the Swan Goddess. We were very white. The last time I was interviewed was with them. It was 2001, I believe. We drank coffee and then beer. I sounded pretentious. How do I sound so far?

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:

I drove west on 270, an outer belt in Columbus, just past I-71 and said, “What smells like geese shit?”  I was alone, so nobody answered, but in a minute I saw it: the Anheuser Busch plant.

I’m just being dramatic. I really had a few slow epiphanies at different times. In college, the discovery of Guinness and Newcastle was my first foray into non-yellow fizzy beer. Some of my uncles liked this stuff, I think. There was a brewpub called O’Hooley’s in Athens. I tried heavier pale ales, stouts, and porters. It felt more special, somehow, to drink those beers, but still I mostly drank PBR at the Union.

After college, there was a place called The Elevator (still is) in Columbus. It’s kind of a snooty place, so at the time I was a bit of a beer snob. I learned a little and actually liked the beers; this is when I realized stout is my favorite. But I eventually felt like a douche and switched back to PBR, which seemed nice because I didn’t have to think about it and it was cheap.

Then, over the course of several months when I started to brew my own beer and read the Charlie Papazian books, I got back into craft beer big time. I brewed with a friend. He pushed us to learn as much as possible about the process and different styles. Making your own beer is a great way to distinguish the different flavors and styles and come to appreciate them. After, it’s hard to want just one type of beer.

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

There were some places that influenced me, places with massive selections of beer and a great beer environment: The Brickskeller in Washington D.C. Flying Saucer in Raleigh and Fort Worth. Falling Rock in Denver. Valhalla in New York. Toronado in San Francisco. St. James Tavern in Columbus, OH.

Beer Blog Background

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

I started this site in April, but wrote for for a couple months before that.

2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?

Those guys asked me to. They knew I was writing a book, knew how to make beer, and could put down a few. I was confused at first, but got into it after doing a couple posts and meeting some of the brewers. I started to see that there is a story to be told and meaning in this industry, in offering more choices, going back to tradition and stronger local communities. After a couple of months, I wanted to write more often and have the ability to talk about other topics. So I started

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

That’s not a very nice question. I know; it’s pretty stupid. It has nothing to do with beer, writing, travels, or any of the topics I try to cover. But it’s a nice image, isn’t it?

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

The things I’ve come to care about the most in the craft beer industry are the sense of pride and artisanship that goes into making great beer and the community that exists around local breweries. For many reasons I won’t go into here, I think we need more of that. I hope I can help. I try to tell stories that make people like they want to be there, like they could be missing out. In the case of craft beer, missing out on fun, friendship, pride in community, and a greater range of experiences.

On a personal level, I want to write books and screenplays. I’m working on my first novel, about 5 major drafts in. This blog helps sharpen my skills. In the future, I hope it leads to a better connection with people that might be interested in any book I write. I also want to do non-fiction books about travel, beer, and other (maybe more political) interests.

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

Every time I go out with my friends to see a new place is the coolest thing that has happened. No seriously, that’s lame. Can I take it back? Can you, like, edit this part out?

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

Beer Talk

1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?

Stout, ESB, Pilsner.

2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?

Great Divide, Stone, Deschutes.

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

Brooklyn. Garrett Oliver seems like he’d be a cool boss; he wears jackets and jackets are cool. There’s a ton of tradition in the brewery, the area, I’m assuming the building. They make fantastic beers.

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

I am. I recently made a gluten-free, sorghum-based beer. After three sips, it went down the drain. My favorite, though, was a hefty imperial coffee stout. I don’t think I answered your question. Can you ask something else?

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

None. I got a certification in Java once. That’s a computer language. I just labeled myself as a dork, didn’t I? Even more so because now I’m saying things like someone’s actually talking back.

6. What is your favorite beer and food pairing?

I was going to say waffles and a stout or a lambic to be amusing, but in all actuality, that’s probably pretty damn good. A real favorite is Fuller’s ESB with Saag Paneer at the British Bulldog in Denver.

The Personal Side

1. What is your current day job?

Code monkey.

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 would like to be a tailor in a large department store. Because you get to look good all day. I had a job in a dressing room once.

3. Are you married? Children?

Not that I’m aware.

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

I noodle on guitars, garden some, do the weird things we do in gyms, paint, read. I’m a bit obsessed with IMDB. I have a crush on Ellen Page, but that’s not a hobby.

Off The Beaten Path

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

I don’t want to answer this 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?

Great Divide’s Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Is it okay that I had to look up the exact phrasing and spelling of that beer? It’s over 50 characters long.

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?

An Oktoberfest. A toad’s scrotum comes to mind. Butterscotch. I picture Germany and witches. What am I supposed to say?

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

It would definitely not be to swim really fast. Seriously, what is the point of Aquaman?

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

We started a lot of fires as a kid. We burned circles in the cornfield, threw smoke bombs down chimneys, put sparklers in the back of rocket engines, made hairspray flamethrowers, and did something utterly stupid with shotgun shells and fire; I’ve forgotten the specifics.

6. What are your thoughts on bacon?

Great next to eggs. Terrible in salads.



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