(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.)
Kim Lutz, 29
(Kim was formerly the Lead Brewer at Maui Brewing Co. in Lahaina, HI)
All About Beer: How did you first get into brewing?
I first began brewing when I was 21. I was working in the wine industry and my roommates bought me a homebrew kit for my birthday. After my first batch I started building my all-grain homebrew system which I still have with me. Brewing was like a culinary art to me so I quickly developed a passion for making beer. After a couple years in the wine industry, I left California and moved to Maui where I joined the Maui Brewing ohana (family).
What was the first beer you ever brewed and where did you do it?
The first beer I (homebrewed) was an Amber Ale from the homebrew kit my roommates bought me from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I lived in San Luis Obispo at the time. [My first professional beer was in] January 2008 at Maui Brewing Co. I brewed Coconut Porter with Tom Kerns, Brewmaster at the time.
What’s your favorite beer style?
Very tough question to answer because my taste is constantly evolving, but in general I am a big fan of IPAs. There are a range of interpretation of the IPA style but I like the ones coming out of San Diego. Minimal malt profile, very hop forward-citrus/pine, and drier crisp finish.
Do you have a mentor in the brewing world?
As of now, I don’t have any mentors. I like to consider it a brotherhood of brewers that I turn to for advice and share ideas/processes with. That is why I really enjoy the brewing industry and how brewers are very open about sharing recipes and techniques with each other.
What inspires you when you’re brewing?
Brewing is a culinary art for me. I love to cook and I take those same techniques when I brew beer. I like playing around with different ingredients and layering flavors. I am inspired as I have the freedom to brew different styles and experiment with new styles. I love seeing the joy good craft beer brings people.
What do you attribute to your success?
I’m very competitive and like to be the best at whatever I do. I worked from the bottom up in the brewing industry and attribute my work ethic and passion for craft beer to my success. I am continually trying to grow as a brewer and push myself to the limits of what I am capable of. As a female brewer in a male dominated industry, I pride myself on being able to meet or exceed all expectation of that of male brewer.
What do you think drives the popularity of craft beer?
There is an overall desire for well-made food and beverages, not just craft beer. People desire well-crafted beverages that have flavor and are locally made.
In general, how do you think the next generation of brewers will shake up the craft beer world?
The next generation of brewers are bringing a fresh approach to the brewing world. We are very open to bending the rules of what beer can be and creating new styles. It is crucial to understand traditional styles but who is to say that we have to follow strict guidelines of what we want to produce and consume.
In particular, how will you contribute to that shake up?
As a female brewer, I like to change the stereotypes of what a typical brewer should be. I would like to become a mentor for the future generation of female brewers and see the numbers increase.
Last one: Cascadian dark ale or black IPA?
Black IPA. But I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. I think we can name our beers whatever we want. This style bends the style guidelines and why does it have to fit into a category. Many beers produced now are a cross between styles.
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