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 Tobias Emil Jensen of To Øl Brewing
Beer Alien: How long have you been a professional brewer?
Homebrewing for about 10 years and professional for 5 years
Beer Alien: What is your favorite part of the job? least favorite part of the job?
As a gypsy brewer, most of the time is spent travelling and trying out experiments. That’s definitely interesting to source ingredients from different places and try them out. But waiting in Airports and not see your family too much is the downside
Beer Alien: How has your opinion of brewing beer changed from when you were a home brewer to now being a professional brewer?
I think basically like every other brewers: You clean a lot more! But otherwise it’s a joy to be professional, You can suddenly spend some serious time on testing new stuff and tasting stuff that you didn’t have the time to do before. And as a perk, you now get free access to beer festivals instead of buying entrance.
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 think I never even realised it, the passion for homebrewing just gained bit by bit and suddenly we were starting a company of our own.
Beer Alien: Share your most interesting brewing disaster.
That would be when a tank was dry-hopped from the top but the pressure had not been removed from the tank. So once the hops started to blend in with the beer, it started erupting and a huge beer shot came out of the manhole in the top. A very cold and wet day at the brewery…
Beer Alien: On your days away from the brewery, what activities do you indulge in?
Searching out good food and cocktail venues for inspiration, then a bit of road cycling in the summertime and on a late night some PC gaming is always appreciated
Beer Alien: Do you have an experience that stands out above all others during your time as a professional brewer?
The first time you see an entire pallet of your own beer. That was a huge jump from the previous one or two cases that you had made in your kitchen
Beer Alien: How long did you home brew before you became a professional brewer?
That is about 4 years. But it all grew very slowly and organically, the step was not very big.
Beer Alien: Do you still home brew?
Not necessarily “home” brew, but we still continue to do perform experiments and tests to develop new flavours and yeast strains…
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)
That was a stout where we completely forgot that you need sparge water for lautering. So we were completely confused about the volume and strength of the beer. So instead of a 7% stout, we ended up with a very rich 12% oatmeal stout that was really tasty!
Beer Alien: If you could give one piece of advice to new home brewers, what would it be?
To continue! I think many people brew their first 4 or 5 homebrews and maybe then lose interest. Be honest with yourself, tell yourself if the beer is actually not good and see if you can improve. Anyone, even the biggest and best breweries can always improve.