What would people never guess is a part of your role as a beer guide?
Learning to deal with that awkward silence in the van after you make a bad joke isn’t something I thought I’d have to get used to
What has been one of your proudest moments working at City Brew Tours?
My proudest moments in this job are always when I help someone unlock their passion for beer. Whether that be something simple like helping someone discover sour beer or something more ambitious like a guest wanting to get into the industry, those revelations are great to experience from my perspective.
What is the coolest thing you’re working on outside of work right now?
I’m trying to up my kitchen skills at home so I’m trying to learn classic French techniques. I make a mean steak au poivre these days.
What words of wisdom do you have for someone taking a tour for the first time?
Words of wisdom? It’s a beer tour, have a good time! Also, definitely eat something before the tour, you want to build a nice base for all that great local craft beer you’re going to be drinking!
Is there a favorite homebrewing recipe that you would like to share?
Since so many people love them nowadays, here’s my basic NEIPA recipe.
5 Gallon Batch / 1.074 OG
10 lbs Golden Promise
3.5 lbs Flaked Oats
1 lb Turbinado Sugar aka Sugar in the Raw(added with 15 min left in boil)
5 oz Crystal 10
Target a Chloride to Sulfate Ratio of about 1.5 to 1(ideally 150 to 100) and a mash temp around 153°F. Mash, lauter, and sparge using your normal routine. Make sure to use rice hulls or a BIAB filter or this beer can be tough to lauter with all those oats.
Hops are changed based on what I have available but here is how I will hop the next batch, which I’m entering into the Philly Homebrew Cup.
30 min – 1.0 oz Cashmere
15 min – 0.5 oz Azacca
Whirpool(30 minutes) – 2.0 oz Cashmere, 1.0 oz Azacca
Pitch a healthy starter of a yeast of your choice however, keep in mind that only certain strains are able to perform biotransformation(the process in which the “juicy” flavors of NEIPA are created) so stick with strains of English origin(WLP 001, 007, 066, 095). If you really want to paint outside the lines, you can try the Anchor yeast strain(WLP810), Bissell Brothers uses that as their house strain and they make phenomenal NEIPA.
2 days into fermentation add 3 oz Citra, 2 oz Idaho 7, & 2 oz Amarillo
5 days into fermentation add 3 oz Citra. Package after 10 days.
Try and reduce oxygen ingress to a bare minimum. I recommend avoiding cold crashing until after you’ve transferred the beer into a keg. If you’re going to bottle this beer, brew a different style, seriously. NEIPA is super susceptible to oxidation and bottling is the best way to add a ton of O2 to your finished product.
What are three words you would use to describe City Brew Tours?
City. Brew. Tours. But seriously, Amazing, Beer, Experience
What is the most obscure beer fact that you know?
Brettanomyces will biotransform butyric acid(basically vomit smell) into ethyl butyrate, which smells like pineapples and tropical fruits. Brett is magical!
What beer is in your fridge/cellar right now?
lol, a lot. I have 4 homebrews in kegs right now; an NEIPA, an English bitter, a Czech pilsner, and a sour ale dry hopped with Galaxy and Medusa. In addition to that, I have some stuff from Singlecut, Burley Oak, Hill Farmstead, and a decent cellar collection going. I always keep some local stuff in the fridge too. Right now I have some beers from Grist House, Strange Roots, Allegheny City, and Dancing Gnome. I also work part time at a beer distributor so I have a bunch of new product samples in my fridges.
What is your favorite thing about the craft beer industry?
The people. Beer is simple, it’s 4 ingredients basically, so what makes certain beers and breweries special are the people behind those beers and breweries. Every decision that goes into a brewery; the recipes, the taproom, the branding, all of those ideas come from someone’s head. And its always exciting to find out someone’s philosophy behind their brewery.