I like beer. Not really in the fraternity party sense (though I did that game too once upon a time). I like good, complex beer. And while drinking it is certainly one of the best parts of having a perennial beer fascination, I like to do a lot more than just drink it. I like to brew it, study it and teach people about it. To that end, in my spare time, I work for Voodoo Brewing Company in addition to being a writer for CraftBeer.com.
I first encountered brewing as an undergraduate where I took a course in the science of beer brewing. I was fascinated by the chemistry, microbiology and even physics that's involved in the study and art of creating good, robust beer. Two years later, while finishing my master’s degree, I was spending so much time brewing and working with beer that I had actually thought that brewing might be the career for me entirely. To that end, I spent several months traveling around, sleeping on friend’s couches, volunteering and interviewing with breweries all over the east coast. Unfortunately, for a soon-to-graduate graduate student, few of the opportunities looked like they were really feasible for me.
Ironically, I finally found the perfect situation for myself right at home in my backyard. Voodoo Brewing Company was building a brewpub in Pittsburgh and looking for interns to help with the project.
I was hired as one of Voodoo's first ever interns and spent the summer working at an old abandoned fire hall to renovate it and make it suitable for the pub space. I would also spend evenings and weekends traveling around to various events to develop Voodoo's reputation in Pittsburgh. Now, after nearly four years I am still working for Voodoo and still homebrewing when I can. I also took up writing as a freelance author for Craftbeer.com. I’ve enjoyed the amount of research it forces me to do to learn more about every aspect of beer, and particularly revel in writing pieces that work to explain the more scientific fundamentals of brewing.
To me, beer has always been captivating on a molecular level and inspiring on a larger level. Down to the molecules, it is the product of the simple and ancient scientific process of fermentation. A microscopic, all-out war that has been loosely harnessed and guided by artists and geniuses for literally centuries. And in a larger way, the whole impact of beer is always summed up best for me when I am at work. I will onoccasion just take a look around the pub. There, sitting together are people from all different walks of life. They are engineers and entrepreneurs, truckers and technicians, artists and architects. They are all brought together, for even just a few short hours, over a shared love and passion for beer. That is the one thing about beer, no matter how much I learn about it, that will never cease to amaze me.