Monday, December 03, 2012

You've come a long way baby... CRAFT BEER!

It's been a long journey since the days of designing the chalkboards at Thompson's McMenamins Brewery in Salem, Oregon. What was once a hobby, fascination and reward (visiting breweries up and down the West Coast of the United States), is now quickly on-track to becoming my next career path. My introduction to craft beer came by way of the Oregon's McMenamin's Breweries. First - like all good newbies - I first dipped my toe in the mash tun with a tasty treat called Ruby - a Raspberry Wheat Beer. I quickly learned my way around the McMenamin's beer menu falling in love with their Terminator Stout. From there - it was a small leap to my four years in Bend, Oregon - falling in love with a little pub called the Deschutes Brewery where my palate was expanded. Here, while publishing a snowboard magazine, I developed a relationship with Deschutes not only as an advertising partner - but the unofficial headquarters for magazine staff meetings and all things apres-ski and snowboard. Favorite beer? Gotta give it to the Jubelale.

Now - a decade or so later - I've become a full-time student, aficionado, fan and snob of all things craft beer. In 2009 I started Beer City Television in Portland, Oregon - spending a day at the North American Organic Brewer's Festival where we met and interviewed the likes of Eel River Brewing's Ted Vivitson and home-brewing grandfather Fred Eckhardt. Now that I'm based in Boulder, Colorado, not only am I in the other "beer capital" of the West Coast, I'm diving deeper into my education and appreciation of the art and craft of beer. This includes brewing my first homebrew this year, a Chocolate Porter by way of Charlie Papazian's book The Joy of Home Brewing.

Which leads me to my final thought - *PLEASE TAKE NOTE COLORADO BREWERIES* - I'm now looking to start working part-time in a brewery, doing just about anything I can find to do! Slinging beers, slinging bags of malt or just slinging a few words of marketing hype to help sell the product. The only way I'm going to learn as much as possible is to get on the inside - and what better way than to become a brewery employee. Thus far, I made a pitch to Boulder Beer about becoming their Boulder Sales Rep. I didn't win the spot - I did however make the cut from 200-some applicants to six, thanks to a little video resume and put together for them. I'll share it with the one or two of you that actually read my blog - right here. I'm also shaking hands and asking questions at some other veteran breweries around Boulder like Oskar Blues, Twisted Pine - as well as some of the newer endeavors such as Gravity Brewing in Louisville and the upcoming Fate Brewing here in Boulder. So excited about the next phase - stay tuned here for the occasional "play by play".

Thanks for reading! Cheers. ETK.