North Texas Beer Week is a celebration of all the craft beer scene has to offer, and what better way to meet some of the influencers than with a "prost" questionnaire? We caught up with six local brewery founders and brewmasters to see what's buzzing in the beer community. Get to know who they are, what they drink and how they drink it, as well as their pro brewing forecasts.
Occupation: Head brewer at Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
I wouldn't be the brewer I am today if not for: How easy it was to brew at home. My friend Tom was brewing beer in his dorm room in college. It floored me. He showed me how simple it was and that started me down the path. Thanks, Tom!
What's the brewery you most want to travel to? I really want to go to Ayinger in Germany and Fuller's in London.
I'm a craft brewer because: I know better. I know that I enjoy good beer and don't want to settle for lowest common denominator brew. I know that other folks have that same tendency. I know that I love coming to work every day. I know that I love constantly learning something new and experiment[ing]. I know I love to create something that helps people enjoy their lives a bit more.
Occupation: Founder and owner of Noble Rey Brewing Co.
How important is appearance to you in crafting beer? Very. Every style has a unique look to it, and if you cannot deliver, then some people will be turned off.
What do you drink on a bad day? Everything. I mean, I generally don't go after the high ABV beers on a bad day ... But then again, if it's a really bad day there's always whiskey.
What's next for the craft brewing industry? Can't speak for anyone else, but I hope to see more "extinct" or "ancient" styles re-emerge. I know we are working on a few and that gets me excited.
Occupation: Brewer and founder at Panther Island Brewing
What's the biggest change you've seen in local beer drinking tastes in the last five years? With more craft beer presence in D-FW, more people are willing to try it out. I get a lot more friends that used to be hardcore "big three" drinkers turning to craft beer. I think quality is taking over quantity in D-FW and that's awesome.
What's one misconception you'd like to dispel about being a brewer? A lot of people think we drink all day, every day. Although we work around beer and a lot of it, most of us don't drink much during the day. I may have one or two at the end of the day. I think we drink a hell of a lot more coffee than beer.
Occupation: Owner and brewmaster at Audacity Brew House
Would you say there's a craft beer bubble in D-FW? Craft beer is the new standard. The bubble that is bursting is the bubble of macro beer.
What's one misconception you'd like to dispel about being a brewer? We don't all have beards. I have tried as hard as possible and looked ridiculous for a few months, but I just can't grow a beard.
What's the biggest change you've seen in North Texas beer drinking in the last five years? I once saw a bar with 20 taps and every one was macro. I had never seen High Life on tap before, and what is Ziegenbock? Do we really need a knockoff Shiner? It's easy to see we've come a long way.
Occupation: Co-founder and head brewer at Martin House Brewing Co.
How do you want people to feel when they drink your beer? Happy!
I wouldn't be the brewer I am today if not for: My wife putting up with my obsession, my business partners and employees being an awesome support, and Drew Huerter and the boys at Deep Ellum for taking me in and letting me hone my skills on a bigger system.
What's your beer right now? The Salty Lady.
What optimizes your beer drinking experience? Great friends, perfect weather and an appropriate outdoor activity.
Occupation: Brewmaster at Braindead Brewing
The perfect beer must be: Drinkable enough to enjoy every day, but with enough depth to be worthy of celebration.
What's the most expensive beer you've ever had? Retail, I think I spent $28 on a 500 ml. bottle of 2009 North Coast Old Stock [Ale] Cellar Reserve.
What optimizes your beer-drinking experience? Clean glassware.