As our beer list grows and evolves, we’ve noticed that our patrons are more interested in what our brewers have to say about their craft and their everyday experiences with beer. We absolutely love it when we see our guests chatting up our brewers and asking all sorts of questions. During some rare, quiet downtime, we grabbed a pint and sat down with our brewer Ben to talk about his love of beer and the daily trials and tribulations of working in craft beer.
What’s the first Craft Beer you ever tried?
Probably Tank House Ale – was not an initial fan, though looking back on my usual bar order at that age, I was not to be trusted.
What’s your favourite hop to work with?
Simcoe has been fun lately, especially playing around with the character depending on how we add it.
What’s your favourite style of beer?
I’ve been really big into APAs lately, which is a bit of a departure from my original craft roots. Historically I was a Porter fan and then sort of slid into IPAs.
What’s your favourite new trend in craft beer?
Lower IBUs (International Bitterness Units). We’ve seem to have moved away from the tear-inducing 100 IBU IPAs that formed a good chunk of my early beer drinking out on the west coast and have found a balance somewhere more palatable.
How much beer do you drink on an average day?
Probably 2 pints equivalent during tank samplings, and maybe a pint in the evening depending on how hot it is and if I can make that walk home without a beer-tour along the way.
What is your least favourite part of the job?
Definitively coming up with new beer names. There are 5,500 microbreweries in North America, so no matter how genius your pun is, I can assure you somebody already thought of it. Now we try to get the whole brewing team and front of house involved in the creative process.
Do you take home a lot of beer from work or do you like to try other excellent local beers while at home?
I usually grab a mixer of other beers for home. I drink a lot of our own stuff during the day so that it’s always good to branch out and see what other people are doing.
What is your favourite food to pair with beer?
Cheeseburgers. I am a sucker for a good cheeseburger.
What is an ambitious beer you would like to make in the future?
I’ve always wanted to do a Braggot (a mead/beer hybrid), but keep it beer style, so drier and sparkling.
If beer is not available (God forbid), what’s your go-to drink of choice?
House made vodka sours with triple sec, limoncello and some Yongehurst spirit.