Helder Pimentel of Backlash Beer Co.

(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.)

Helder Pimentel, 28


Backlash Beer Co.


All About Beer: Tell us about your brewery.

Helder Pimentel: Backlash Beer Co. is based in Boston, but brews out of Holyoke, Massachusetts, under contract at Paper City Brewing.

How did you first get into brewing?


I first started homebrewing when I was 21.

What was the first beer you ever brewed and where did you do it?


The first beer I ever brewed was a Bavarian hefeweizen, brewed on a dirty kitchen stove top in Allston.

What’s your favorite beer style?


Right now, I’m really interested in learning about brewing and drinking sour ales.

Do you have a mentor in the brewing world?


I don’t have a mentor per se, although I have a few inspirations. My father, for example, has been making wine at home all my life. I also owe a great deal to several online brewing communities.

What inspires you when you’re brewing?


I’m inspired by interpreting different styles of beer in different ways, and trying to do things that haven’t been done before.

What do you attribute to your success?


I think a lot of different factors contributed to our success. The quality of our beers, first and foremost—but there is definitely a shift in consumer tastes occurring now, as we see more people choosing full-flavored, local craft beer.

What do you think drives the popularity of craft beer?


Again I think it’s a shift in taste—consumers waking up to the fact that there is so much more to beer than the fizzy, watered down crap that the big guys push on us.

In general, how do you think the next generation of brewers will shake up the craft beer world?


I would expect the next generations of brewers to continue to push the envelope and explore styles—I imagine sour beers to continue to grow in popularity, and there is a world of exploration one can do within that category.

In particular, how will you contribute to that shake up?


We will continue to do what we do, make beers that we love and love to share. We really want to grow the craft beer segment by bringing in new faces to the craft beer revolution—growing the pie as opposed to dicing it up.

Last one: Cascadian dark ale or black IPA?


Black IPA.

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