CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 17 Made in America: Part II - Page 160

W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M Word on the street is that you’re an avid homebrewer. How did you get into brew- ing beer? A friend of mine was into it, and his beer was so good I couldn’t believe it. So, I got him to teach me how to do it. I got some of the basic gear and slowly got into it. Partly because it was at a time when big double IPAs were what everybody was doing, and I was like, “What if you could make a really hoppy IPA that wasn’t eight-percent alcohol but was like four or five percent?” Now that’s the session IPA, and they’re everywhere. At first, it was just to see if I could make good beer at all. It took a few times to figure it out. Then it was fun to be like, “I want to make this thing I really like that isn’t necessarily out there.” Now that seems silly be- cause everything’s out there. The time is a little different. If you got started when double IPA’s were big, that’s not terribly long ago right? No, it was maybe 2007 or 2008. I got into for a few years, maybe five years, but I really slowed down after my second kid was born. It takes a lot of time, and there’s a lot of great beer out there to buy. I’ve got all my stuff though, and I’m ready to give it another go. It’s been a while. Is brewing something you do with other people or is that a solo project? Your kids probably aren’t old enough yet to participate in that right? Yeah, I don’t like really doing it when they’re around, although they’re probably old enough now that they might be interested. The problem with it is that certain things have to happen exactly when they have to happen. If you get distracted at that moment, which parenting is all about being distracted by your children, then you just ruin the whole thing. So, I only do it when I don’t have my kids around. I’ve done it a few times with other people, but I find it distracting to have company because you really have to be focused. It’s such a precise thing. So, I’ve found that when I brew, I like to just be really focused. I like to taste it with friends and share it. It is nice to know other people that are doing it and trade bottles, but I find I’ve made better beer when I’m really focused, and it’s hard to do that with anybody else around. Yeah, I’m the same way. I’m too worried about sanitation. Yeah! One time I had a friend help me, and we were filtering out the hops, and he stuck his hands in there to squeeze all the juice out of the hops. I was like “Dude, what are doing?! That’s so unsanitary, you’re gonna ruin it!” [Laughs] I didn’t yell at him, but I was like, “What?! You gotta be kidding me!” Yeah, so I’d just rather just be focused. Some people say it takes beer to make beer and they drink beer while they’re doing it, but I’m stone cold sober drinking coffee and staying focused. We’ve talked about making beer, what about drinking beer? You grew up in Port- land. There’s something like 83 breweries in the Portland metro area alone. How do you decide what to drink? Do you have favorites you go back to or do you try