Get ready for it, Super Bowl LII! Whether your team made it or not, millions will be watching the game. What this really means is lots of beer and even more food! Nachos, wings, and pizza will adorn coffee tables all across America, as well as the obligatory light lagers. This year, let’s see if we can’t mix things up and make something memorable with a few great beer pairings to go along with those ubiquitous snacks. Choosing the right beers to go with each food can really highlight both the brew and the munchies.
Words can’t express how the news of Charlie Papazian stepping down after 40 years as head of the American Homebrewers Association hit us here at World Headquarters. Well, maybe some words. To quote Luke Skywalker, “Nooooo! That’s not true! That’s impossible!”
Where would any of us be without Charlie?
South African Limited Release hops! We have leveraged our way into securing an extremely limited quantity of rare South African hops JUST for homebrewers. Expand your brewing horizons with these special hops that you cannot find in the US. They are currently sold only to craft breweries in very small quantities. Be the first brewer in your club to try them out!
Where are you from? Menomonie, WI “When in doubt, go to Stout.”
What is your favorite brewing topic to talk to customers about? Really, I love to talk about any topic. Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and their roles in sour beer top the chart. I also enjoy barrel aging, clean or sour, and barrel maintenance. I have a horticulture background, so any time people want to talk about unusual grains or herbs, I am game.
What was your biggest brewing blunder? Accidentally adding a pack of Brett. Lambicus to my yeast starter for an Russian Imperial Stout. Had two starters going for two different beers and made the cardinal sin of having one too many on brew day. It was not until I went to pitch the Brett starter that I realized it was just wort. The RIS went down the drain a few months later.
What movie have you watched the most times? Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, and anything with Milla Jovovich. Seriously she is awesome, Return to the Blue Lagoon, Kuffs, The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet to name a few. My wife gets upset if we watch too many in a row.
What was your proudest moment in your fermentation history? Traditional blended Kriek. Years to make, pounds and pounds of cherries and then it was gone in no time.
My first time in New Zealand I collected some spontaneous wild cultures and currently have a few batches of beers going from that. Hopefully that become my proudest moment if they turn out. So far so good.
Why do you brew? At one point in my life I wanted to be a chef. I grew up watching all the great cooking shows on PBS. Yeah PBS, there was no Food Network or Cooking channel. I find that brewing is a great way to satisfy that same creative process, plus you get beer in the end.
When did you start brewing? I believe it was 2010, shortly after buying a house. I finally had room to brew!
What is your brewing system? A pretty simple 18 gallon kettle that I made into an electric kettle with the classic 10 gallon cooler, immersion chiller, and elbow grease. I think most people would be surprised to see my system, very basic. Oh, not to mention my notebook, refractometer, pH meter and my two cats that are WAY too much help.
What is your favorite style of beer for drinking and for brewing? Munich Helles, German Pils, and anything Farmhouse or sour. I try to brew a turbid mash lambic twice a year to keep a good stock for blending and fruiting. I also enjoy brewing historical and obscure styles. Otherwise I like trying out different grains to see the flavor profiles. Always trying to find grains that will help build body into Brett beers. Brett can real chew up beers and leave them with a thin mouthfeel. Spelt (raw or malted) has proven great for this but malted rye and malted oats are great as well. Honestly people need to play more with grains. Just no Hefes please.
If you could share a beer with anyone throughout history, of even fictional, who would it be? Anthony Bourdain, but he better take me to Thailand for real deal pho.
Where do you spend your non-brewing time? Gardening and Vacation! New Zealand anyone!? Everyone should have a chance to drink German Pils made with Nelson Sauvin hops while down under.
Who are your three favorite musicians/bands? Trent Reznor/NIN does that count for one or two? Pink Floyd and Nirvana.
How much coffee is too much coffee when it comes to beer? According to this Punch article on an all-coffee beer fest, there’s no such thing. We reached out to one of our favorite local, fair-trade bean bros, Peace Coffee Community Manager, Ryan Brown, for his take on the latest coffee beer trends.
If you’ve ever dreamed about opening a brewery, here’s your front-row seat. Next month, Amazon Prime will be airing “Barely Beer Barons,” a series offering a no-holds-barred look at what it takes to go pro, from the ground up. Spoilers: It’s a lot of hard work and even more heart. We’re pulling for the guys at Brew Rebellion because we know a lot of talented
This article predicts the beer version of “a taco truck on every corner” and we at Northern Brewer couldn’t be happier. Our own HQ is based smack dab in the heart of one of the greatest beer cities in America, according to Thrillist. And knowing you’re never too far away from amazing, local beer is, we can attest, really good for the soul. Not to mention, strike up a conversation with just about anybody, and you’ll find out they’re somehow linked to either beer and brewing, or simply a die-hard, knowledgeable fan.
We’re proud to count many of these brewers among our friends and brew heroes…including Urban Growler’s Deb Loch, who was our very own Product Development guru way back when!