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 Steigerwald
AUTHOR OF: BREWING SOME FUN & DRUNK AND UNEMPLOYED
Beer Blogger Interview
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up on Long Island in the town of Sayville. It’s midway from NYC and the Hamptons, on the South shore.
2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?
I did not play any team sports. I’m more of a self-motivator and am into weightlifting and running. I also have a 2nd degree black belt in Isshinryu karate.
3. How old were you when you had your first beer?
I was around 12 or 13 years old when I drank my first “official” beer, meaning not just a sip of my parents’ 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 stole 2 beers from my parents, I think they were Piels, and drank them in the woods near our elementary school with a friend. We drank one warm Piels each and were stupid buzzed. We never got caught and continued to steal beer and liquor from our parents for years afterwards.
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 the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). I have a Bachelors and a Masters in geography which, surprisingly, I actually use in my day job to this day (I’m a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programmer). I was briefly in he power lifters club (too many meatheads) and the geography club. I was in no fraternities, although I was heavily recruited. That’s how I roll.
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:
My first craft beer epiphany happened when I was in college. I graduated in 1997, so my epiphany happened over 15 years ago. I cannot recall exactly the details, but I remember drinking things in Buffalo that I never saw on Long Island; regional beers like Saranac, Utica, Genesee, and Dundees. Most importantly, though, was Pete’s Wicked Ales. I tried them, fell in love with them and drank them constantly. Pete’s is now defunct as of last year, and if you’ve had them, you are probably thinking, “those are horrible beers”. But 15 years ago, in Western New York, our choices for craft beer was pretty limited.
2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:
I had a few craft beer epiphanies since college, but in 2009 I had a second major epiphany. I have been attending the Great American Beer Festival almost every year since I moved to Colorado in 1997. But something was different about 2009. I was just getting into social media and was learning about all the different things I should be trying. I knew nothing about Stone or Dogfish Head, but when I saw the lines that year, I became intrigued. I went to the liquor store and bought these beers…and loved them. I started reading blogs, looking up beer people on Twitter and looking for breweries in Facebook. I found more and more things to try. It’s been a 2 year long epiphany and is still continuing today.
Beer Blog Background
1. How long have you been writing your beer blog?
I’ve been writing about beer since my second major epiphany, 2009. If you were to go to my personal (original) blog, you could actually track the history.
2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?
I tried my hand at technical blogging (programming), creating personal websites, etc. But never was really interested in writing about the very thing I was doing for 8+ hours a day already. I’m interested in weightlifting quite a bit, but felt I really had nothing to offer that was new or different in that area. Beer was a different story. Taste is subjective, and I felt I could offer my own perspective on beer.
3. Why did you choose the name of your blog?
My original blog is my name. Not very original. Brewing Some Fun was named by Kevin Petruzielo who asked me to join the blog earlier this year. Drunk and Unemployed…well that one is just funny. I write for them because they asked me, plus one of them is an old elementary/high school acquaintance. I like Drunk and Unemployed because I write about things other than beer for them (liquor).
4. What are you personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it?
I want to educate others. I want to tell others about Colorado’s great beer scene. I want people that don’t know about or understand the craft beer revolution to learn about it and be a part of it.
5. What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger?
Something cool happens every day. A new person adds me on Twitter. Someone connects to me on Google+. An individual leaves a comment on a blog post. I am mentioned on one of the social media sites. It’s all cool.
6. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?
1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?
IIPA, Imperial Stout and Saison.
2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?
Dry Dock Brewing, Great Divide and Dogfish Head.
3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?
Dogfish Head, because they are right near the water (which I love), on the East Coast (which is where all of my family still lives) and they are just my style; off-centered.
4. Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer?
I was a homebrewer in college and would like to start again. I have some neighbor friends that I may start with soon. Back in college, I brewed a beer I called “Dark Star Chocolate Cherry Stout”. I was a minor deadhead and brewed a beer that was a stout with cherries, therefore the name. It was a sweet and sour-ish stout.
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?
Definitely beer and cheese. I personally like an IPA and a sharp cheese, but even find creamy cheeses to be great with IPAs.
The Personal Side
1. What is your current day job?
I am a programmer, specifically in GIS. In short, I write mapping applications on steroids.
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?
Own a gastropub. I like good food, good beer and good cocktails and would love to share that with others (plus enjoy it everyday myself).
3. Are you married? Children?
I am married and have 2 kids (3 and 7) and a stepson (13). Drinking with kids is a challenge, but with planning, it can be done. I am a testament to that, look at my untapped profile and you will see.
4. Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?
Weightlifting and music. When it comes to music, I have no particular style and can listen to everything; from jamband to metal to bluegrass to classical to jazz to pop and everything in between.
Off The Beaten Path
1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be an why?
Wow, this is the question that took me the longest to think about. One has to think about how they perceive themselves against how they think others perceive them. So I will go with the former since that is easier. I’m very open minded, mellow until agitated, soft spoken, perceptive and thoughtful. This would probably make me a Wild Ale. It’s not my favorite style, but it fits my personality quite well.
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?
Pliny the Younger. This beer might be a lot of hype, but I loved it when I had it. It was hoppy, but very well balanced. I would want something I am familiar with, not something I never had before. And, something high in alcohol. And something epic. PtY is perfect in this situation.
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?
The Beer Wench I know on Twitter is a strong, independent individual, a person without boundaries, a borderline gypsy, and outspoken person; yet considering all of these, is still a fragile individual with true feelings. Is this too deep? Regardless, The beer would have to be something completely unique; A IIPA Wild Ale brewed with rose petals. It sounds cheesy, but think about it…it makes sense and is absolutely perfect.
4. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
5. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?
I am pleading the 5th on this one. I’ve done crazy shit that I would never tell anyone. Most of the crazy things I did were early in my life. Nowadays, I am interested in staying healthy and intact for my kids. And for drinking.
6. What are your thoughts on bacon?
I love bacon and eat it as often as I can, usually for breakfast, but sometimes I throw it in dinner. But I don’t like it in my beer damnit!