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: SCOTT ANDREWS
AUTHOR OF: THE BEER SNOB
Beer Blogger Interview
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the land of sand and cacti, Yuma, Arizona. If you visit there, you’ll see postcards everywhere that describe Yuma as something like, “150 miles from water, 2 miles from California and 2 feet from hell.” Yes, it’s that hot. Bad burns from touching the metal parts of seatbelts during summer are not uncommon.
2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?
I played baseball during 5th and 6th grades in a city league. I think we were the worst team both years, thanks to me. I broke my nose during preseason practice my 2nd year, which is probably why there wasn’t a third year!
3. How old were you when you had your first beer?
I may have tasted a sip at some point early on but I think I was about 17 when I had my first full beer. I was let go from a telemarketing job after just a week, so I decided to go get a six-pack of Bud (well, have someone get it for me) and drink it down. I drank it all at home and promptly vomited it back up. Too much beer all at once, or the first sign I was destined to be a beer snob? You decide!
4. If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it?
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 went to school in Arizona for about a year and a half, Arizona Western College. Those were my party years. The intent was to study accounting but I never took a single accounting class. I did theatre here.
Not long after moving to the Nashville area, I ended up at what was then Nashville State Technical Institute for graphic design while I worked full time doing graphic design. Now I am at Tennessee State University studying engineering, graduating, finally, in December 2010.
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 don’t think I had a huge, lightning strike craft beer epiphany, but a smaller gradual epiphany. I had decided for some reason to try Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and realized beer could taste like chocolate and coffee and it was amazing! I believe it was winter, and I was enjoying this with a wood fire burning in the fireplace, and I realized the seasonality of beer, the diversity of beer, and how the setting can influence the taste and enjoyment of a good craft beer.
2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:
My additional beer epiphanies have revolved around developing a taste for different flavor profiles or styles of beers. The first time I tried Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, for example, I didn’t like it. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the hoppiness I didn’t like. But one day, probably several months later, I finally had a hoppy beer that had prominent citrus and grapefruit in the nose and palate, and I learned to love the hops! I had a similar moment when I tried Biere Du Boucanier and learned to love a good sour beer.
Beer Blog Background
1. How long have you been writing your beer blog?
I’ve been writing the blog (first at http://thebeersnob.wordpress.com) since January of 2007
2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?
I had, at this point, begun dipping my toe into the pool of craft beer but was trying so many different beers, I never remembered what I had or hadn’t tried or had or hadn’t liked. So I started the blog as a way to keep track of what I had tried and what I thought about them. It was only meant as a journal for me to keep track of my experiments in beer.
3. Why did you choose the name of your blog?
It just came to me, I guess because in my early experimentation with craft beer I quickly became vehemently a craft beer guy, absolutely snubbing Bud, Coors, Miller, etc., although I really had no beer knowledge or experience at that point.
4. What are you personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it?
Although I started it for my personal benefit, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I hoped to make money with it someday. But in addition to that, I’d love to become a well respected source to which people can turn for reviews of beer. I’d also love to turn some people on to craft beer.
5. What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger?
I think the coolest thing is getting to attend, free of charge, a beer dinner at the Opryland Hotel, hosted by Linus Hall of Yazoo Brewing Company. The meal was amazing and the beers paired extremely well with the food, plus I ate a meal and drank beer with Linus Hall. I was one of only 12-15 people who were in attendance!
6. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?
I don’t actually have much time to spend looking at other sites…I am working full time and in school full time, so I barely find time to update my blog. But here are three I look at:
To find out what’s available in the Nashville area, I like to visit http://nashvillebeergeek.blogspot.com. He always has the latest on what new beers are available here or are coming soon and writes well.
I usually end up at beeradvocate.com and ratebeer.com a lot as well. Usually it is a result of googling a beer’s ABV if it’s not on the bottle or looking to see what others thought about a beer I just reviewed. I avoid other reviews like the plague when I am about to do a tasting of a specific beer, but I like to read other reviews after the fact to see what flavors others picked up.
1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?
I’m a malty sort of guy and my favorite styles are always changing, but stouts and porters are usually two of my favorites. The other favorite would alternate between nut brown ales, IPAs and Belgian.
2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?
Hands down, Dogfish Head is my favorite. Samuel Smith would have to be my second favorite. The third is more difficult. It would be a toss up between Young’s and Rogue.
3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?
I would love to work with or for Dogfish Head, not only because they are my favorite, but because they are so imaginative with their beers and so willing to take risks and try new things.
4. Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer?
I would love to get into home brewing but simply don’t have any time right now. Maybe after I graduate in December!
5. Do you have any beer certifications (BJCP, Cicerone, Siebel, American Brewers Guild)?? If so, what are they?
I don’t currently, but I definitely want to get as many certifications as I can, to add credibility and expertise to my blog but also to increase my beer knowledge for my own benefit
6. What is your favorite beer and food pairing?
I don’t often pair beer with food, oddly enough, because most of the time when I drink beer, I am trying something new which to review, and don’t want to taint my palate. I love the way, though, a good hoppy IPA cuts through a rich meal and cleanses the palate.
The Personal Side
1. What is your current day job?
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 work as a biologist studying trout in the Smokies and other aquatic creatures and their environment. I love trout, especially brook trout, and the mountains and would love to spend my life helping preserve their natural environment and studying them outdoors on a creek.
3. Are you married? Children?
Married 13 years in October of this year, with two of the most beautiful daughters you have ever seen, 6 and almost 4
4. Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?
I don’t have much time for hobbies really, but some of the things I enjoy that I would like to do more is European travel, fly fishing, hiking and camping and visiting art museums, especially Renaissance and Byzantine art
Off The Beaten Path
1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be an why?
I would be a a stout or a porter, I think….dark and malty and most appropriate for winter and a roaring fire.
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?
At this moment, I think I would say Pliny The Elder, only because I have heard so much about it, never seen it, and have even seen it called overrated. I’d like to judge that for myself.
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?
Since I don’t do any homebrewing and don’t know you that well, I think I would do a blonde ale but aged in a whiskey barrel for an extra little kick
4. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I would want to be able to fly, like most other people I’m sure. But mostly because I would love to visit Italy again and this would be the cheapest way to do so. I’d also want to be able to breathe underwater so I could just lay for hours at the bottom of a mountain trout pool and just watch the trout go about their lives.
5. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?
I’m drawing a blank here….I really haven’t done too many crazy things.
6. What are your thoughts on bacon?
Very tasty choice of meats, but best served thick and extra crispy (not burnt). Nothing worse than floppy bacon!
SPECIAL THANKS TO SCOTT FOR AN AWESOME INTERVIEW!