It must be working. I noticed you’re pulling in a lot of awards. Twice, your beers have been named best American Beer at the GBBF [Great British Beer Festival].
Isn’t that funny? We’re really tickled with that. We’re not entirely sure how or why that happens, but we find it really charming that we can send our beers across The Pond and they’re nicely received there.
That says to me that balance is important in the formulation of your beers, compared to some more in-your-face American beers that the English don’t like.
I would agree with that. We like to really make sure we have beers that are, first of all, technically outstanding and consistent, and that they do have a lot of character, but at the same time that they are accessible. Even the beers in our Big Beers series—the Wheat Wine, which won a gold medal at the GABF a couple of years ago, our imperial stout, or double bock and the other big beers—we want to make sure that they’re accessible within the parameters of the style. Obviously, a double IPA is always going to be a double IPA.
That’s a real testimony to our brewer Dave Yarrington who has such a great feel for those things.
Is there music playing in the brewhouse?
There is always music playing in the brewhouse. At this point I sort of feel like Dad, because I find myself going in and turning the music down when I’m showing someone through. It is incredibly eclectic. They will listen to everything from John Coltrane A Love Supreme to hip hop, though there’s a little less hip hop now. I’ll come out and hear bluegrass or seventies rock’n’roll (but not a lot of that, thankfully). They’re pretty cutting edge, with a lot of independent and progressive music, too.