I suppose I should introduce myself, since Central State is touting me as a collaborator and I will be writing about something you all hold very near and dear to your hearts.
The thing that I imagine will matter to most is that I am a homebrewer, and still a fairly recent one at that. I’ve brewed for about the last four years, first with friends who are far more experienced and knowledgeable than I am, and then more recently I’ve ventured out on my own (though I still brew much larger batches with three friends). Mostly, I focus on sour beers and saison/farmhouse styles—the styles I enjoy drinking most—but I’ve been known to pull together a decent IPA. I like experimenting with bacteria and Brettanomyces and barrels. I have two fifteen-gallon rye whiskey barrels and one sixty-gallon wine barrel in my basement.
Otherwise, I’m a writer, the Creative Director at a content marketing agency in Indianapolis, and any other ridiculous number of adjectives and descriptors you can assign to me.
I haven’t won any awards, no medals. I’m not a best-in-show winner. I’m not a BJCP judge or a Cicerone. (I also don’t submit to beer festivals [yet] because I prefer to drink my beer myself and I’m forever tweaking my recipes to my own tastes. Not to say that I would win, but like the lottery says…) I haven’t worked as a brewer or a cellarman in a brewery—though I did tend bar at one for a while. I’m not a scientist, have no degree in chemistry or molecular biology.
No, I’m just some schmuck who took a liking to beer in my latter college days and let that grow. And I’m someone who thought it was a good idea to get a college degree in Creative Writing and is trying to do something worthwhile with that. And someone with a wife understanding enough to let me store all of my brewing equipment in the house and visit a few breweries when we travel.
Most importantly to the purposes of this blog, however, is that I’m someone who reads a lot—about beer and otherwise—and is generally unsatisfied with the kinds of coverage you find in mainstream culture about beer. And there will be plenty of you who read the things I’ll write for Central State and say, “Jeez, I don’t really give a shit. I just want to drink a beer.” That’s totally cool. I’m not here to be highfalutin’. I just want to write about a few of the elements of beer that I find fascinating. I’m interested in both the flavor profiles present in beer as well as the processes that create those flavors.
I’ll be learning as much as I’ll be writing. Learning from the Central State boys and whoever else is foolish enough to give me any time of day. And I hope you’ll all learn a little something too, whatever that might be.