Beer Alien, being fascinated with all things beer, has begun interviewing professional brewers in order to better understand the humans that make the beer we love so much. Through these interactions we hope to better understand and appreciate the beer you humans create on this planet.
We had the distinct pleasure of talking with Tim Matthews of Oskar Blues:
Beer Alien: How has your opinion of brewing beer changed from when you were a home brewer to now being a professional brewer?
Hmmm…I think home brewers and Professional brewers alike can intensify their craft, improve, and innovate. But as a professional brewer the challenge can be maintaining the culture of brewing craft beer – keeping it fun, enriching to your quality of life, and enjoying the people around you.
Beer Alien: When did you realize you wanted to be a professional brewer and how long after realizing did it take you to become a professional brewer?
I was only drinking and enjoying beer when I met some brewers and toured their breweries in North Vermont over 10 years ago. I started homebrewing, did the American Brewers Guild, and started professional brewing all within 2 years after that.
Beer Alien: Share your most interesting brewing disaster.
These are always colorful. Which one should I choose? How about the time I tried to fill a tank already full of fermenting beer with wort from the brewhouse? Gotta take your time and read the tank labels…..<face palm>…
Beer Alien: For other home brewers that want to make the change, what advice would you give to them?
Be ready to shelf all the knowledge you have and start with a clean slate. It helps you adapt to your surroundings, be safe, and pick up the practical aspects of working in production. Later when all that is second nature you can delve back into the Theoretical and really take off.
Beer Alien: On your days away from the brewery, what activities do you indulge in?
Family stuff, Getting out into the outdoors, visiting other breweries, making the lungs work in a variety of ways…
Beer Alien: Do you have an experience that stands out above all others during your time as a a professional brewer?
Expansion. Being a part of the Oskar Blues growth has been incredible and unique.
Beer Alien: How long did you home brew before you became a professional brewer?
Beer Alien: Do you still home brew?
I wish. Time is short, especially with a 2 yr old running around the house. But I’ll catch the bug again. No doubt about that.
Beer Alien: What was the first beer you brewed? What do you remember about the experience? (Come on, we all know the first time is an experience)
It was a pale ale from an extract kit. It actually came out quite good. The second time though….that’s another story.
Beer Alien: If you could give one piece of advice to new home brewers, what would it be?
Leave no stone unturned. Challenge any piece of information you receive and never stop learning.
For more info on Oskar Blues, check out: http://www.oskarblues.com