Bock the Vote!

Who doesn’t love to voice their opinion when it comes to great beer.  Halloween at midnight is the deadline for voting for your favorites in the annual Northwest Brewing New People’s Choice Awards.   While folks are hopping to the ballot boxes, we’ve poled some of our own favorite beer constituents on important issues that really matter.  These include issues like what they’d drink if trapped on a desert/dessert island and what the best food pairings are out there.   The overwhelming responses has forced us here at Brewpublic to unveil these in installments.  Anyone from casual craft beer drinkers to certified brewmasters shared their thoughts on a six  pack of straight forward questions:

1.  What sparked your interest in craft beer?

2. If trapped on a dessert island with just one tap line, what beer would you choose to drink (yeah that’s a tough one)?

3. Similarly, if you could have just one last beer, what would that be?

4. Name five of your favorite brews (won’t hold you to these).

5. Are there any beers out there that you would like to try that you haven’t yet?

6. Name one or more of your favorite food pairings?

All of the responses were quite interesting.  Some folks elaborated more  than others, but that’s quite alright. Let’s start with a few and see how this goes.

Bill Schneller
Bill Schneller

Bill Schneller, Big Time Home Brewer and Beer Lover.  Bill considers himself a consumer and a homebrewer, but we here in Beervana know better of him.  His Lambic Project cranks out 100+ gallons annually. Bill isn’t a professional brewer (quite simply, he doesn’t do it for the money) but he brews like a pro. Bill teaches prep classes for the BJCP to the Oregon Brew Crew and has judged at the GABF.  “The pros know a lot more than I do. Amateurs need to know their place.” says Schneller.  Gosh, it would be nice if some of the “pros” were so humble.  “I look forward to tasting a wide variety of beer and am also particularly interested in food and beer matching since I used to do a lot of wine and food matching on a professional level in the wine business” he says.  Sounds good enough to us.  Plus, Schneller brews 25-30 times a year (down from 50 or so a few years back).  Let’s grill him.

What sparked your interest in craft beer?
BS: I always liked beer, but I’ll confess, I’m from the wine world.  I switched to beer and homebrewing when I was switching career and no longer could spend more money on wine than I did on the rent.  Seriously. Being a slightly obsessive person, one thing led to another and now I’m a full-fledged beer geek but I still love good wine too.

If trapped on a dessert island with just one tap line, what beer would you choose to drink (yeah that’s a tough one)?

BS: You’re kidding me, right?  It’s tough to even play that game.  A few things maybe but who could ever narrow it down to one.  Boon Geueze (sure, Cantillon has the name amongst Lambic aficionados, but Boon has balance like no other Lambic) or Saison Dupont, except that it’s better in bottles than tap, so maybe that doesn’t count.  Hmmm, it’d have to be drinkable in a whole lot of circumstances if you could only have one…Maybe totally fresh Pilsner Urquell or another top FRESH pils (like Hopworks).  It’s tough to beat good pils. But it’d better be fresh.

Similarly, if you could have just one last beer, what would that be?

BS: Only one?  Tough to say, but it’d have to be one of those beers that you remember so well that it couldn’t possibly be as good as you remember it.  I had an Affligem Dubbel once that was so incredibly amazing, but it’s never been the same since.  Nothing against the beer, but it can’t live up to the hype in my own memory. So if it can be as good as I remember it from that one time, I’d choose that.

Name five of your favorite brews (won’t hold you to these).

BS: Boon Geueze, Pliny the Elder, Monchshof Schwarzbier, Westmalle Tripel, and Saison Dupont.  Ask me again in two hours and I’ll give you a different list.
Are there any beers out there that you would like to try that you haven’t yet?

BS: Of course, but with any luck I be around long enough to hit some of them.  This list would be way too long, so we’ll skip any details.  Let’s just it would require a lot of travelling and pocket money.
Name one or more of your favorite food pairings?
– Roasted pumpkin and hazelnut ravioli in an apple and pear sauce and a great Oregon fresh hop beer.
Nothing screams “Oregon’s Natural Bounty” like this.  You really got to try it.
Pumpkin Mousse and Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws.  I stumbled on this one a few years ago at Thanksgiving when I didn’t have oven space or time to make a pie and I never looked back.
Pork shoulder braised in salsa verde with homemade flour tortillas and a good Baltic porter.  The sweetness of the beer mellows the heat of the salsa verde.  Why do people always choose hoppy beers for spicy food?  Maltier beers are the only way to go.
Roast beef sandwiches and English style brown ale.  Not just any old sandwich, but a proper one.  Good rare roast beef, a real Kaiser roll, homemade mayo.  Can’t beat cold beef and brown ale.  Those English guys figured that out a long time ago.
Steamed mussels and Duvel (or another great Belgian Golden Ale).  Steam the mussels with aromatics and a little bit of the beer (or use some lambic instead).  Make sure you have a lot of crusty bread.  Few things go so well together…Just don’t use too much Duvel in the mussels because you don’t want too much bitterness in the dish.

…And he said he was an amateur.

For our second person, we asked a guy who works in public relations for a big corporate brewery.  He asked not to be identified nor his macro company.  For the sake of it, we’ll refer to him as John.  Here’s how John responded:

What sparked your interest in craft beer?

John: The flavor of craft beer is so much more dynamic and rewarding than large volume beer manufactures who make bland beers.

If trapped on a dessert island with just one tap line, what beer would you choose to drink (yeah that’s a tough one)?
J: Terminal Gravity IPA—as long as I don’t have to pay full price. It is expensive.

Similarly, if you could have just one last beer, what would that be?
J: Busch Light. It reminds me of the good times.

Name five of your favorite brews (won’t hold you to these).
J: Henry Weinhard’s Classic Dark, Henry Weinhard’s Blue Boar, Busch Light, Terminal Gravity IPA, Full Sail Amber Ale

J: I’d like to try the Budweiser Ale. They are spinning it as craft-like brew and I’d like to see how it measure up.

Name one or more of your favorite food pairings?

J: Roasted pork in a IPA-orange BBQ sauce.

…Now those are some controversial answers…

Peter Shaver
Peter Shaver

Next up, Peter Shaver.  Peter runs Sound Advice LLC and works to protect the welfare of artists such as writers, musicians, and other independents.  In addition, he is a “big boss man” at several brew festivals. This entails gathering tokens, keeping tap lines fresh, and ensuring the general safety and fun of festival goers. Peter jokes that he is a “high-function alcoholic and a long time beer geek.”

What sparked your interest in craft beer?
PS: Growing up drinking imports with more flavour than US beers. Working for Sam Adams (Boston Brewing Company) in its early days.

If trapped on a dessert island with just one tap line, what beer would you
choose to drink (yeah that’s a tough one)?

PS: Okay, on a HOT dessert island: Allagash White.

Similarly, if you could have just one last beer, what would that be?

Dead Guy, of course

Name five of your favorite brews (won’t hold you to these).
PS: Allagash White, Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA, Ninkasi IPA, Bridgeport IPA, LaChouffe
Are there any beers out there that you would like to try that you haven’t yet?

Sam Adams’ crazy-ass expensive quadruples.

Name one or more of your favorite food pairings?

PS: Pizza and beer.

...Well, there you have it…three of these nutty surveys.  And more to come.  You wanna contribute?  Email us @ info@brewpublic.com    We are also open to a name for these crazy things.  Please offer your two cents.  Salud!

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