Jonathan Moxey of Rockwell Beer Company guests on the Drink Beer, Think Beer podcast this week and makes the case – not only as a brewer but a drinker too – to enjoy the beers that tickle your fancy, even if the style is not in the current zeitgeist.
A long-time and award winning homebrewer who went pro a decade ago with stints at Schalfly Brewing, Perennial Artisan Ales, and now Rockwell Beer Co., Moxey has recently delighted in revisiting the styles that first piqued his interest as a drinker.
In His Own Words
“I want people to drink what thrills them. If you’re passionate about drinking a, heavily fruited quick sour, or a, you know, a stout, with raisins and cocoa nibs and marshmallows in it, too. That’s great.
Plenty of people make hazy IPAs and some of them very good. But there’s so many breweries that are zeroed in on two or three types of beer only. and there’s so many other styles out there that are classics for a reason that deserve a spot on your tap list.
People have appetites for these other things. And so what I’ve focused on making is straightforward beers at a high level.
Whether that is a pilsner or a bock, or a porter, we’re just making them the best we can. And then also looking at these classic styles, and trying to create something new through a modern lens.
A perfect example is that we just released a hoppy brown ale.
Hoppy beers that are darker and have more character have started to pop back up like Firestone Walker’s Wookie Jack just came back. Wiseacre out of Memphis has their Strizzle Bier, and they call it an IPA but it’s a brilliant ruby brown color. And it’s delicious.
These beers don’t taste like they are dark, like some of the hoppy Cascadian Dark Ales, or black IPAs that people were drinking 10 years ago. The brewers have taken what wasn’t good about those beers and gotten rid of them. They are not too ashy, there’s not too much caramel, everything is dialed back but there is still some character that sets it apart from other beers.
I think I’ve told you this story before, but like, there’s this movie theater in town and you go in and for $13 a quart, it’s like going into a time machine and you get Lagunitas IPA, Dogfish Head 60 Minute, Bell’s Amber, and they are blindingly fresh. And I drink them, and say ‘holy shit, this is not only a nostalgia thing but these beers are still really good.”
We need to have fewer monochromatic draft lists.
So we brewed an amber ale and we updated it for today, but it still tastes like an amber ale, but it’s not cloying. And when it is done well there’s going to be an audience for it.
This transcript has been condensed and edited for clarity.