Head Brewer at Old Schoolhouse Brewery
(Editor’s Note: This is part of a series in which we scoured the country to find 30 innovative brewers and beer professionals under 30 years old, each of whom hopes to further the scope and breadth of the American craft beer scene.)
Blaze Ruud, 29
All About Beer: Tell us about your brewery.
Blaze Ruud: Small and outdated, yet effective.
How did you first get into brewing?
My father and stepmother decided to purchase the brewery in 2008, (when) I was 25.
What was the first beer you ever brewed and where did you do it?
American Amber at Gallagher’s Where U Brew in Edmonds, WA.
What’s your favorite beer style?
Toss up (between) English barley wine and imperial stout.
Do you have a mentor in the brewing world?
Chris Miller (Berryessa Brewing Co.) and Allen Rhoades (Anacortes Brewery), to mention just a few, but (I) have been acquainted with many other knowledgeable brewers.
What inspires you when you’re brewing?
Brewing difficult-to-brew beers.
What do you attribute to your success?
I have been a half-decent cook since I was young. That, coupled with a technical mind, has helped me dial in process and quality recipes.
What do you think drives the popularity of craft beer?
Quality, flavorful, superior beer.
In general, how do you think the next generation of brewers will shake up the craft beer world?
New styles and ingredients to come.
Last one: Cascadian dark ale or black IPA?
Cascadian dark ale all the way. I live in the heart of the Cascade Mountains and am proud of the name and style.
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