Head Brewer at Pizza Port Ocean Beach
(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.)
Yiga Miyashiro, 30
Pizza Port Ocean Beach [UPDATE: Miyashiro became Director of Brewing Operations at Saint Archer Brewing Co. in June of 2013]
All About Beer: Tell us about your brewery.
Yiga Miyashiro: We are a brew pub with anti-wimpy pizza pies. We brew a very wide range of styles, from Cream Ales to Imperial Coffee Porters and everything in between. I strive to keep about 15-18 house beers on tap at all times.
How did you first get into brewing?
I started home brewing at 17. My dad would not buy me beer, but told me I could brew up a batch if I wanted. Me and my buddy read up on how to do it. Then I went into the homebrew shop and purchased my ingredients.
What was the first beer you ever brewed and where did you do it?
I made a honey red ale. I homebrewed it in my dad’s kitchen with my friend. That first batch of beer was fermented in a bucket that I bought from a donut shop.
What’s your favorite beer style?
The beer in my glass! However, I have been drinking a lot of low alcohol beer. I find it a challenge to create a lot of well balanced flavor in a small beer.
Do you have a mentor in the brewing world?
Tomme Arthur, Greg Peters, and Jeff Bagby have helped me shape my brewing skills over the years.
What inspires you when you’re brewing?
Everything can give me inspiration. Using a new ingredient. Having a conversation with a fellow brewer. Tasting someone else’s well crafted beer. Having a great surf session. I think that’s one of the best parts about brewing: While it is science, there is still a lot of art and passion in it.
What do you attribute to your success?
Having owners (Vince and Gina Marsaglia) that allow their brewers to work in an unrestrained environment. They give us the freedom to experiment and use the ingredients that we want to use. This also allows us to create beers that stand out.
What do you think drives the popularity of craft beer?
I think that people want something that tastes good and has character. There is a time and a place for Macro Light Lager. However, for lots of people, drinking is not just to get drunk. Drinking a good craft beer helps enhance the experience the drinker is having. Whether it’s a meal, a concert, or just a night drinking at the pub.
In general, how do you think the next generation of brewers will shake up the craft beer world?
I think the overall quality and complexity of all the craft beer in the market should rise. As we have more brewers that were raised on good beer from the beginning of their drinking experiences, these brewers will have a higher expectation of what a beer should be. This will only help raise the bar across the board.
In particular, how will you contribute to that shake up?
I think like many of my peers, I will continue to strive to create complex, interesting, yet always drinkable beer. At the end of the day you want to be making and drinking a beer that you want three to four pints of. Maybe you shouldn’t drink three or four pints, but you want to.
Last one: Cascadian dark ale or black IPA?
I make black IPA, but I would not turn down a well-crafted Cascadian dark ale.
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