For the first Brewer of the Week interview of 2011 we head up the coast to Massachusetts (yes I had to check how that was spelt) and the Blue Hills Brewery in Canton, and their award winning brewmaster.
Brewery: Blue Hills Brewery, Canton MA
How did you get into brewing as a career?
I enjoyed visiting Harpoon in Boston back in the 1990’s, and eventually I was hired there as an intern.
What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?
Creativity and open mindedness
Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew? If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production?
Yes, a long time ago, but it was on a small scale
If you did homebrew, do you still?
No, because I get to brew every day at work!
What is your favourite beer that you brew?
They are all my children.........
If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?
American Stock Ale at Main Street Brewpub (now closed) in Worcester, MA. It was the first beer that I brewed which I later perfected the recipe at another brewery.
Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink?
Probably the IPA, because it’s so smooth.
How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?
Huge! I don’t want to make what everyone else is making. I want to differentiate my brewery in the market.
If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?
A brewery in the South or Southwest, because of the regional differences in styles and flavor profiles.
Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?
Piebalga Gaishais Alus, a beer from Latvia, because I just love that great taste.