If you are involved with the Portland craft beer scene in some capacity, chances are you know Jeff Faraday. Jeff is the friendly beer and wine steward at Seven Corners New Season Market. His passion for people and beer are obvious and his knowledge is vast. We stopped by our local grocery whose mantra is “Friendliest Store in Town” and again realized this is bolstered by Mr. Faraday. We caught up with him for this brief Q & A session…
How long have you been working as the beer guy at New Seasons?
Jeff Faraday: Since the summer of 2004. Before then, I was just “the beer guy” at my friends houses.
What sparked your interest in craft beer?
JF: I think the first time I thought about beer as a craft good was with Saranac, from Upstate New York. Their Black & Tan was better than anything I had ever drank from a bottle. I also remember J.W. Dundee’s Honey Brown as being one of the first beers to change my mind about what beer could be.
What are some of your favorite beers?
JF: I think that US craft breweries are at the cutting edge of the beer blade. From Roots Organic Chocolate Habanero Stout to Dogfish Head’s Raison d’Extra, we have old Gambrinus by the balls over here.
Still, I am a sucker for all beers Belgian. I think it’s great that so many domestic brewers are taking an interest in brewing with spicy Belgian yeasts. Sour ales from Jolly Pumpkin and New Belgium have been pretty good lately. Classic styles of lambic and trappist tripels will probably always be some of my faves. I even wrote a haiku about my love for Belgian golden ales:
your light effervescence
lends a brilliant lacing
to line my goblet
I also work with wine at my job, and people often ask me if I prefer one over the other. That is a really hard question. They both have a different place in my life. Both go great with food, but only beer is food. I often try to dispel rumors about wine being full of snobbish attitudes. I think you can find that in the beer world too. Wine is amazing to me because it comes from one ingredient, grapes, and changes completely from place to place. But beer gives folks the opportunity to get really creative. You can brew with anything in the world. You can even import ice from Antarctica or use barley grown on a space station. I even saw a recipe in a homebrew book for a beer brewed with a chicken carcass. I think I’ll pass on that last one. In the meantime, I’m going back to my snifter of Southern Tier “Chokolat.”
note italics on “beer IS food”
Great introspective insights on beer, Jeff. However, we suggest you don’t haiku and drink. It throws off one’s syllable count.