Great Lakes Brewing News April/May 2011 : Page 1
BEER AND BICYCLES PEDALS AND PINTS Brugge Brasserie 57,000 Miles to Build a Dream: TAPPING INTO A DREAM. Ted Miller from the Brugge Brasserie and craft brew apprentice drinker, Todd Weckbaugh. PHOTO: BRUGGE BRASSERIE By GLBN Staff he modern world is occa-sionally affect-ed by a seismic shift in how we live our lives. The internet went from breaking down Star Trek episodes to breaking down ILLUSTRATIONS BY: HANS GRAHNEIM T dictatorships, the Automobile went from a rich man’s hobby to re-inventing the development of America, and the Segway changed how shopping mall security guards harass teenag-ers. Craft beer, and the re-acceptance of the bicycle as a mode of transportation, are each See Beer and Bicycles p. 4 M By Jim Herter Most of us would say we would go to the ends of the Earth in pursuit of a dream; Ted Miller from Broad Ripple-Indianapolis’ Brugge Brasserie literally did. On an unseasonably pleasant mid-February day, Ted and I sat down (actually stood up) at the Brugge’s outdoor patio lean-to bar and talked about his professional brewing journey. The trek started in Broad Ripple in 1990 and took him, and his wife Shannon, to sojourns in Seattle, Asia, the Carib-bean, back to Asia and then home to Broad Ripple: All tolled the experience covered over 57,000 miles. BN: When did you discover that you had a passion for craft beer? TM: In 1990, I walked into Broad Ripple Brewpub (Indiana’s ﬁ rst brew pub) and was hooked! See Dream p. 12 Events .................................................... 3 Beer & Health ........................................ 8 Jolly Giant ............................................. 9 Homebrewing ...................................... 10 Beers To Us ..........................................11 Cooking With Beer ............................. 13 Beer Queendom .................................. 14 Maps & Directories ........................ 18-24 INSIDE State by State News Wisconsin ......... 16 N Wisconsin ..... 17 Indiana .............. 25 Illinois ............... 26 Chicago ............ 27 Minnesota ......... 28 Michigan ........... 30 SE Michigan ..... 31 Ohio .................. 32 New York .......... 33 Pennsylvania .... 36 Ontario .............. 38
Beer And Bicycles
PEDALS AND PINTS
The modern world is occasionally affected by a seismic shift in how we live our lives. The internet went from breaking down Star Trek episodes to breaking down dictatorships, the Automobile went from a rich man’s hobby to reinventing the development of America, and the Segway changed how shopping mall security guards harass teenagers. Craft beer, and the reacceptance of the bicycle as a mode of transportation, are each in the process of forcing us to re-think our day-to-day lives and decisions.
Why are these two revolutions happening simultaneously? Why are people “getting back” on bicycles while choosing a better beer with their meal, or with their friends, or with a quiet moment at home? Why does your local brewpub or beer bar sponsor a cycling team, or have 10+ bikes parked out front every night, while the sports bar pouring domestic macros by the pitcher does not?
According to the League of American Bicyclists, the number of everyday bicycle commuters rose 43% nationwide from 2000-2008. Over the same time frame, according to the Brewers Association, market share of U.S. craft beer rose from 2.42% to 4.04%. The three cities where craft beer makes up over 20% of beer market share: Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco are also 3 of the top 5 cities in percentage of bicycle commuters.
However, this is not simply a west coast phenomenon. Even in the chilly Midwest folks are upgrading their beverage of choice while bundling up for the ride home. While it could be argued that craft beer and/or bicycle commuting were both choices “out of the mainstream” that required a significant effort (seeking out a beer, or a safe route to work)-these days, the acceptance of both appears more widespread.
While finance may affect many purchasing and lifestyle decisions, the “cycle” here is broken: craft beer costs more than domestic macrobrew, and cycling is considerably less expensive per mile than driving an automobile. However, both better beer and a bike ride seem to appeal to those looking for a better quality of life in the midst of the daily grind.
The synergy doesn’t end there. Many beers have been inspired by, named after, or designed based on a bike ride. Recipes are formulated by brewmaster cyclists, and beers are named after beloved races or rides or bikes or components. Beers are often enjoyed before, after, and during group rides, and many bike tours are routed to brewery destinations and beer bars. Routes that are too far to pub crawl, and too risky to drive, become easy afternoon ambles on a bike. Too many bike races to mention are sponsored by craft brewers, and many breweries sell road and mountain jerseys bearing their own artwork. Roller racing-indoors cycling sprint competitions-are popping up in urban bars around the country, and the competitors and organizers aren’t drinking martinis. They are drinking beer and talking trash, and riding their own bikes to and from the bar to boot.
For many, craft beer is a choice of not only a fuller flavored product, but a chance to support a local product, a local economy, as well as friends and neighbors with a purchasing decision. Drinking a local beer in a locally owned bar, as opposed to a macro beer in a franchised chain bar and grille, instills in one a sense of place and a good feeling about the purchase. Supporting your local brewery and/or pub which is an easy bike ride away vs. stocking up on beer at the local chain retailer is not just a beer decision, but a lifestyle choice.
The bicycle, as a mode of transport, offers a number of benefits. Low cost, efficient speed (especially in urban areas), physical fitness, and the ability to make your commute your workout (a definite time saver) are just a few. For many, it is not simply an environmental issue, nor a smugness issue, nor a financial issue, but a basic quality-of-life decision. Once again, folks are rediscovering that they like to ride bikes; everything else that comes along with it is a bonus.
Out for a Pint (with 3,000 friends)
Craft beer, as a choice over commercially mass produced American Lagers or wine or spirits, also offers a number of benefits. Those who appreciate beer would rather have 2 great pints than 5 far-less adventurous adjunct lagers-often for the same ten bucks.
As an avid cyclist and craft beer drinker in the Detroit area, I’ve organized bicycle tours of bars and breweries from Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti and back, and hosted over 3,000 cyclists on a tour of the City of Detroit while tapping kegs of beer from Michigan’s finest breweries including Arbor Brewing Co, MillKing it Productions, and New Holland Brewing Co. I’ve shown curious cyclists from around the region and around the world Detroit’s present micro breweries and the sites of historical regional breweries—some still standing empty (Pfeiffer, E&B, Goebel), while others like Stroh’s have given way to new development. The bike ride was the ideal format to take in all the city has to offer via beer— past, present, and future.
If you’re a craft beer enthusiast that hasn’t dusted off the bold bike for a long time, think about taking it out for a pint. It may change what you think about things, just like that first time you tried a real beer. If you’re an avid cyclist, or bike commuter a little too caught up in the daily grind, don’t forget to pull up at the pub and stop and smell the hops. It may not seem like much, but as we each make these choices every day, they add up to more bike and beer friendly communities, which are places we’d all like to live in.
- bil Lusa
Wisconsin is a great place for craft beer enthusiasts who are also bicyclists to combine those two passions. With so many breweries throughout the state, it’s inevitable that many of them will be convenient to good bicycling opportunities. So get trail passes for yourself and your companions, and start exploring.
Starting with Wisconsin’s state capital city, Madison, the Capital City trail not only passes near multiple brewpubs, it also connects with other state trails and more brewery opportunities. The Cap City serves both as a major bicycling commuter route and a recreational bikeway. In Fitchburg, it passes the Fitchburg branch of the expanding Great Dane brewpub empire (four locations in the Madison area and one in Wausau). Madison’s “BikeWinter” group has sponsored a number of rides including craft beer, including some Great Dane to Great Dane rides. Go a little farther west and it’s an easy detour to Vintage Brewing Company on Whitney Way, or continue on to Verona to Gray’s Tied House.
Want to go farther? Hook up with the Military Ridge trail and travel southwest to the Grumpy Troll brewpub in Mount Horeb. Farther south, the Sugar River trail begins in New Glarus right across from the original site of the New Glarus Brewing Company. State trail offices are located in an old railway depot and the brewery has partnered with the local chamber of commerce on tourism activities. The Sugar River is an easy flat ride, but if you want to go to the newer primary location of the brewery, be prepared for a steep climb to the appropriately named hilltop brewery. But your hill-climbing efforts will be rewarded by the site of a beautiful new brewery and tasteful beers as you overlook the countryside. The brewery has bicycle racks for your convenience. The Sugar River trail continues to Monticello, and from there, take the Badger trail to Monroe where you can visit the Minhas brewery (formerly Huber), and into Illinois if you dare.
Going into western Dane County into Iowa and Sauk counties, local bicycle enthusiasts enjoy the Horrible Hilly and Dairyland Dare biking country, which will take you near Lake Louie Brewing Company in Arena (be sure to call ahead!) And Spring Green, the future home of Furthermore Brewing Company.
If instead you wish to take the Cap City to the east, link up with the Glacial Drumlin trail and make a stop at Tyranena Brewing Company in Lake Mills. Tyranena has been an enthusiastic supporter of bicycling and, along with New Glarus and Great Dane, was an early supporter of Bike to Work Week in Madison. Tyranena also sponsors an Oktoberfest bicycle tour. Lake Mills is located near Trek Bicycle headquarters in Waterloo and a number of Trek employees are Tyranena regulars. The brewery is also a popular base in the summer for bicyclists who park their cars at the brewery in the morning, go out for a ride, and finish the day with a well-deserved beer in the taproom or beer garden. Jefferson County also has a number of other bicycling options for bicyclists looking for alternatives to state trails. Follow the Glacial Drumlin farther east to Wales, and it’s possible to head north to Delafield, to the decidedly suburban locations of both the Delafield Brewhaus and Water Street Brewery Lake Country.
Going farther east? Start with the Hank Aaron state trail near Miller Park baseball stadium and head east to the lake. It also connects to the Milwaukee County Oak Leaf trail. Urban options in Milwaukee include breweries along or near the Milwaukee River--Milwaukee Ale House/ Milwaukee Brewing Company, the Horny Goat Rock Bottom Milwaukee, Water Street Brewery, Lakefront Brewery, and plenty of pubs offering craft beer. In the Riverwest neighborhood, you’ll find Stonefly. Go farther north toward Glendale and Port Washington, you can visit Sprecher and the relatively new branches of Milwaukee Ale House and Water Street Brewery.
To the northwest of the Capital region, you’ll find a system of four connecting state trails. The Elroy-Sparta trail is perhaps the most well-known of the four, but craft beer enthusiasts will want to start (or finish) on The 400 state trail between Reedsburg and Elroy. In Reedsburg, enjoy a beer at the cozy Corner Pub brewpub right on the main street, an easy ride from the trailhead. From Sparta, you can connect to the LaCrosse River trail and on to the Great River trail. In LaCrosse, you can visit the very bikefriendly Pearl Street Brewery and the large City Brewery, site of the former Heilemann Brewing Company. LaCrosse is also home to numerous pubs, including the Bodega, and a large Oktoberfest celebration.
In Central Wisconsin, trails cover the area near Stevens Point, where you can visit the historic Stevens Point Brewery, as well as the O’so Brewery in nearby Plover. To the north in Wausau, check out RedEye, Bulls Falls, and the northernmost outpost of the Great Dane. RedEye’s Kevin Weichelberger is a strong bicycling enthusiast, and several bicycling groups meet for regular group rides.
Farther to the northwest, the Old Abe state trail connects Lake Wissota State Park and Brunet Island State Park. The Old Abe is a great ride on its own, but as the trail network in the area expands, it will eventually link with the Chippewa River and Red Cedar trails, providing access to Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire and Menomonie.
in Chippewa Falls, visit the historic Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Northwoods Brewpub is in Eau Claire, and a second brewpub in Eau Claire is in the works. Menomonie features excellent German-style lagers at Das Bierhaus, where they say they imported the brewmaster, not the beer, from Germany.
Way, way up north, Ashland offers lakeshore bicycling that is convenient to the South Shore Brewery as your beer base for lots of great bicycling in Ashland and Bayfield Counties. When in the region, also be sure to stop for mead at White Winter Winery in Iron River, and proceed to Superior to the Thirsty Pagan.
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources state trail listings at http:// dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/findatrail. html.
- Bob “Now go have a beer”. Paolino
Minnesota’s Twin Cities ranks at or near the top of lists of the most bikefriendly cities. Craft Beer Nation in these parts has much in common with the biking community. They even share one of their favorite brands in Surly Bicycles and Surly Brewing Company.
Dedicated bike lanes and trails are part of the story. Another part is the support from the publicans in providing a safe, secure and convenient place to tie up one’s steed aka lock up your ride. Pedal crawls range from the small and impromptu to the large and organized. Pub pedals are organized by bike shops on a larger scale as well as individuals on a smaller scale. A popular brew pub jaunt starts at Minneapolis Town Hall on the west bank. Second stop is over the river and down the stream to Great Waters in Saint Paul. Third leg takes riders northwest to Barley John’s in New Brighton. The loop is closed with a ride south and back across the river to Town Hall.
A shorter, all Minneapolis route would be Rock Bottom to The Herkimer to Town Hall Tap and back to Rock Bottom. Mark Van Wie, publican at the Muddy Pig, is an avid biker. Last summer’s Firkin Nice Day for a Bike Ride started at the Pig, headed to the U of M for a stop at Stub and Herb’s and finished at Grumpy’s NE. Each stop featured a firkin of Goose Island cask conditioned beer for the participants. Firkin Right! Local importer Artisanal Brands and avid biker and Belgian Knight Lanny Hoff organized the First Annual Arnoldus Day Bike Pub Crawl. Lanny’s loop started at the Bulldog Uptown, headed east to the Muddy Pig and rolled back west to the Blue Nile on the west bank. Saint Arnoldus is the patron saint of Belgian Beer.
While the subject here is bicycles, recall the US Pedal Pub, Slow Fun ™ for up to ten people, is based here in Minneapolis.
- Jim "I Ride Steel Because It’s Real” Ellingson
In southern Indiana lies some of the best biking trails in the United States. Bike Magazine readers from around the globe rated Brown County State Park’s trails in the top five of the U.S. in 2009. Just 2 miles from the entrance of the park is Big Woods Brewing Company in Nashville, Indiana. Not far from Big Woods are Upland Brewing Company and Bloomington Brewing Company in Bloomington. The 44th Annual Hilly Hundred, one of the longest running biking events in the U.S., will be held October 14 -16, 2011 in and around Bloomington. Join over 5,000 participants from 40 states for three days of biking and stop by UBC and BBC for a refreshing pint.
Black Swan Brew Pub in Plainfield has two trails that run right into the back of the property (Perimeter and Clarks Creek Trails), and the Plainfield Greenway also connects the White Lick Creek and Vandalia Rail-Trail. Black Swan’s Owner/Brewer DJ McCallister is a seasoned veteran in the Hoosier beer scene so you know that the beers will be a nice reward at the end of the trail.
“We do a bicycle ride called the “Beer Ride” in October. 2011 will be the third year,” reported Jon Myers at the Power House Brewing Company in Columbus. There are also 11 miles of trails in four segments that comprise the Columbus People Trails.
The Monon Trail connects to the White River Greenway in close proximity to the Barley Island Brewing Company in Noblesville. The Monon Trail then runs for 11 miles to the center of Indianapolis, but not before passing within feet of Broad Ripple Brewpub, the Brugge Brasserie, Barley Island’s Tap Room, Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company and Upland’s Tasting Room.
At the end of the trail in downtown Indy around 10th Street bikers will be a short distance from Sun King Brewing Company on College Avenue north of Ohio Street, as well as the newly opened Flat 12 Bierwerks on the near southeast side. Both of these new entrants to Hoosier brewing are making outstanding beers.
In northern Indiana, in the Village of Winona, the KCV Cycling Club in Warsaw promotes 2 days of the 8th Fat & Skinny Tire Fest, in May 201, one of the largest bicycle events in the region, with more than 1,200 cycling participants. Mad Anthony Brewing Company and Mad Anthony’s Lake City Tap House will be there to provide their quality beers to all the eligible pedalers. The Fort Wayne/New Haven River Greenway trails and paths, as well as the open-rail trail in historic Auburn, also put riders in close proximity to Mad Anthony Brewing Company’s Broadway and the Auburn Taproom.
On Lafayette’s Wabash Heritage Trail and associated paths ride to People’s Brewing Company for a pint. From there the journey continues back downtown to Lafayette Brewing Company for lunch and more libations. The gathering has grown so large that Chris Johnson, Brewer and Co-owner at People’s, has placed a bike rack in front of the brewery.
Along the shores of Lake Michigan run the Michigan City Trails; Singing Sands, Lighthouse Trail; the Prairie Duneland Trail and the Calumet Trail. At the northwestern most reach is the Shoreline Brewery in Michigan City. A few miles to the west in the city of Valparaiso is one of the newest entries into the Indiana brewing family; Figure Eight Brewing Company. Both breweries serve excellent hand-crafted beers.
Running from Indiana’s western border is the Erie Lackawanna Trail and connecting Lake County Bike Trails which run mere blocks from Three Floyds Brewing Company in Munster. This trail runs 10 miles until it intersects with the Pennsy Trail (under construction) just to the north of Crown Point, the home of Crown Brewing Company.
In north central Indiana around the Notre Dame area are several spectacular trails that run in close proximity to Mishawaka Brewing Company’s Pub; the South Bend-East Bank Trail and River Trails that skirt the beautiful and historical St. Joseph River provide spectacular scenery.
For more info on Indiana trails visit www.indianatrails.org and cross-reference to the Great Lakes Brewing News’ Indiana Brewery Guide.
Illinois Starting north at the Wisconsin border, the Illinois’ Des Plaines River Trail’s sometimes rugged landscape winds south through Lake County to Lake Cook Road. It’s a bit more friendly these days, though the first time I rode, I cracked a rim on my road bike. As the trail wanders, it passes behind or near three brewpubs.
In historic Libertyville, take a break from the expanse of Adler Park, and visit Greg Browne at Mickey Finn’s Brewery. I once paused on a bench outside of Finn’s, and wound up their first customer! Moving further south through the prairie-like MacArthur and Grainger Woods, be certain to hang a right at Halfday and drop in on Art Steinhoff at Flatlanders Restaurant and Brewery. Heading through the Ryerson Woods, the trail has a small, unfinished section. If you make it upright, finish up with Lanny Fetzer and Joe Egdorf at the Ram Restaurant and Brewery, just west across busy Milwaukee Ave. Three brewpubs take the edge off the short 10 mile trek along the Des Plaines River Trail in Illinois, 28.
- Jeff Sparrow
Pennsylvania Western Pennsylvania’s ultimate combination of beer and bikes happens in May with East End Brewing Company’s Pedal Pale Ale Keg Ride. Pedal Pale Ale is East End’s hoppy summer seasonal, and every year owner Scott Smith delivers the first keg of it on a bike to emphasize that East End is an environmentally sustainable brewery. He also invites people to follow him on bike for the delivery; over 700 people took part in the event in 2010, as the large parade of bikes toured through Pittsburgh’s east neighborhoods. Last year, through donations, the event also raised over $5000 for local bike organizations. East End plans to hold this year’s Keg Ride on a weekend day in May, but no definite date has been set yet.
For those looking for a bike and beer day trip in the Pittsburgh area, your best bets are the South Side and Eliza Furnace Trails. These trails are both close to Pittsburgh’s top beer destination, the South Side. The trails connect a couple blocks from Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh, and nearby you’ll also find Fat Head’s, Smokin’ Joe’s, and OTB Bicycle Café. OTB (Over the Bar) is decorated with bike murals and art created with bike parts, and it has six craft beers on tap, which usually showcase local breweries like East End and Full Pint.
- Keith Kost
New York Upstate New York is famous for bike trails, and many of them come by a brewery or good beer bar (or two). Which is not to say you won’t find bikes parked on the walk in Syracuse’s Armory Square when the weather permits, or in Buffalo or Rochester.
Ithaca, New York is famous for its hills as well as its progressive beer culture. Add to that mix to this ecology-minded college town’s love of biking and hiking, and you naturally get clubs organizing cycling (or hiking) tours whose destination promises ultimate hoppiness. And so members of the Finger Lakes Cycling Club teamed up with BikeIthaca.org one crisp November evening for a meeting at the local farmer’s market. From there they work up a modest lather and toned those muscles as they conquered the area’s steep terrain, and were finally rewarded with an evening of yarn-swapping and great craft brews and delicious, locally sourced food at Ithaca’s incomparable Bandwagon Brewpub.
- Tina Weymann
The Ann Arbor, Michigan area is not only the most bike friendly community in Southeast Michigan, it also boasts a high concentration of quality drinking establishments. Planning a bike tour around these parts is not difficult. Here’s a suggested route, which encompasses 10 stops in about 11. 5 miles, seven of which are to get to the last stop, in Ypsilanti.
Begin at Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium, in west Ann Arbor before heading downtown to Grizzly Peak, 120 W. Washington; then on to Jolly Pumpkin, 311 S. Main; Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington; and Blue Tractor, 205 E. Washington.
You’ve hit all the city’s brewpubs, now it’s on to the cool beer bars, beginning with the 70+ taps of Ashley’s, 338 S. State, then the outdoor ambiance of Dominick’s, 812 Monroe, followed by the Packard Pub, 640 Packard; and on to the new 16 taps of Fraser’s Pub, 2045 Packard.
Finally, if you’re still sober enough to pedal, strap on that helmet for the trip out to Ypsilanti’s Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, where the beer garden and (very probably) many other bicyclists await you.
- David Bardallis
Ottawa Ottawa, the nation’s capital region, is probably one of the most bicycle friendly, scenic and historic beer drinking locations in Canada. With four brewpubs to start from, I suggest the original Clocktower, at 575 Bank Street. Not only does the pub have five beers to select from, there is ample parking all around and the bike path is not a kilometre away. Once you have enjoyed a nosh and pint for strength, take nearby Isabella Street east across the canal at the Pretoria bridge, turn right and you are on the bike path. Follow the east bank path to the University of Ottawa, until you reach the traffic lights and pedestrian tunnel. Walk your way east through the campus to King Edward and turn right at Laurier to Charlotte and then right on Rideau to Cummings Bridge. Turn left and you will be on the bicycle path once more. Head north and exit at Beechwood, until you arrive at the intersection with Mackay, where you will find the second Clocktower. Fortified, head west along Beechwood over the Rideau River on St. Patrick Bridge. Be sure to wave at the protesters in front of the Chinese Embassy as you head towards the Bytown Market. Once you cross King Edward (you will have to pass a number of homeless people and then a scattering of street-walkers) you reach Cumberland where you turn right on Clarence until you reach 89 and the third Clocktower.
After sampling their seasonal offering, head west on Clarence to Sussex and take the ancient Alexandria Interprovincial Bridge, which is planked for bikes. From here you not only get a spectacular view of the Ottawa River but the Houses of Parliament. Once over the bridge the bike path goes under the structure past the Canadian Museum of Civilization. You take this waterside trail west past the old E. B. Eddy factory, and Chaudiere Falls to Montcalm Street. Here, turn left (north) and follow old Brewery Creek to BDT (Brasseurs du Temps) at 170. Once you are here you will be treated to some of the best brewpub beers in Ontario/Quebec, gourmet brewpub food and Canada’s most comprehensive beer museum. Though even a modest sampling will mean you have to lock your bike-up and call for a ride home!
- Ian Bowering
Read the full article at http://archive.brewingnews.com/article/Beer+And+Bicycles/688612/65986/article.html.
57,000 Miles To Build A Dream:
Most of us would say we would go to the ends of the Earth in pursuit of a dream; Ted Miller from Broad Ripple-Indianapolis’ Brugge Brasserie literally did. On an unseasonably pleasant mid-February day, Ted and I sat down (actually stood up) at the Brugge’s outdoor patio lean-to bar and talked about his professional brewing journey. The trek started in Broad Ripple in 1990 and took him, and his wife Shannon, to sojourns in Seattle, Asia, the Caribbean, back to Asia and then home to Broad Ripple: All tolled the experience covered over 57,000 miles.
BN: When did you discover that you had a passion for craft beer?
TM: In 1990, I walked into Broad Ripple Brewpub (Indiana’s fi rst brew pub) and was hooked!
BN: What was your fi rst experience with brewing?
TM: Same place. I did a few home brews, but then put Broad Ripple Brewpub in my scope and dialed ‘er in. That, of course, means working on the fl oor, behind the bar, humping grain for Gil Alberding and Greg Emig, (BRBP’s fi rst and second brewers respectively) and anything I could do so that they knew who I was and what I was there to accomplish.
Ted and I fi rst met back in 2005 when he and his wife opened the Brugge. We had talked casually about his experience at Seattle’s Thomas Kemper Brewing and the Asian-Caribbean-Asian journey, but I was curious to hear more.
BN: How did you get involved with brewing and consulting in Asia?
TM: I was working for Thomas Kemper in Seattle. A friend of ours, Ed Tringali, had been doing some gigs in Asia. He had a project in Hong Kong and offered it to another friend of ours. Coincidentally, that was John Haggerty from New Holland Brewing Company. Of further coincidence, John is from Zionsville, Indiana. Anyhow, John turned it down for whatever reason and my name came into the mix. “Let me get this straight, you’re going to double my salary and move me to Hong Kong? Where do I sign?” I was 25 years old. The rest is history.
BN: Culturally how was that for you and your family? Has this experience had a profound impact on your life?
TM: It has turned us into the people we are today. When you move across the world where life is a fundamentally different process you sort of re-learn a lot of things. Like that seal penis could actually be a positive marketing tool if used in beer. At the same time, humanity is humanity and everywhere we’ve been, family, friends and religion tend to guide people through life. Our children were all born over there and our eldest, Hunter, is a kid you simply must speak to sometime to understand how that experience helped shape him. He is an awesome kid and a good part of it can probably be attributed to his experiences of early childhood in Asia and then moving to the States.
Miller recounted an experience when his wife had just delivered one of their three children. A kind Asian neighbor lady had invited them and baby over to celebrate. Shannon had just showered and her hair was still wet. The woman became frantic and began taking a towel to Shannon’s head. “Come to fi nd out, new mothers don’t bath for a month after a baby is born because it’s bad luck, something about rinsing away the aura,” Miller laughed. “Or the time that I was working a very late night trying to get a new brewery up and running. I was whistling to pass the time while fi nishing the job. It was well after midnight. One of my Asian co-workers instructed me to ‘quit whistling.’ ‘Why, am I bothering you,’ I asked? ‘No, the ghosts,’ the man said.”
BN: How did that path lead to the Turks & Caicos Islands? And then back to Asia?
TM: The brewery I was with in Hong Kong went through a successful IPO in ‘97. I had an offer from the T & C group and I struggled. It was likely I was going to be transferred to Dublin; the one in Ireland, not Ohio. I just had this feeling and I went to T & C. Tragically, the President of that company committed suicide shortly thereafter. It had a profound impact on a lot of people. I still think about my co-workers and bosses and their families. Sad.
So the journey continued with Ted and Shannon returning to Taiwan. Ultimately the legacy continued to unfold with the Millers returning to Indiana.
BN: What prompted the decision to return to Broad Ripple?
TM: Probably the fact that my wife and I are both from here so we had this built-in support group. We also knew a ton of people that could help us launch this thing. It just made sense. It’s also the perfect place for us to raise kids.
Up to this point in his brewing career, Miller, like so many other American brewers, had been mostly involved with crafting ales and the occasional lager. So naturally he came back to Indiana to brew…
TM: Because I had been doing the “American-themed brewpub” thing for so many years, I felt it was a little tired honestly. We knew Belgians were on the rise, so we could have a pretty good run with something a little unique. It worked.
Miller has won three GABF medals and fi ve Indiana State fair awards for his beers that have been entered into the Belgian categories. I mentioned to him that Jean Marie Rock, the brewer at Abbaye d’Orval in Luxembourg, Belgium, had recently been quoted in American Brewer magazine stating: “I don’t know why everybody wants to copy my beer. They should invent their own style!”
BN: What do think about Rock’s statement?
TM: I agree. Even though I brew with Belgian brett and lacto (brewing microbes), I’ve never been limited in my creativity. That’s how new beer styles are created. The Pooka (a Belgian-style sour with boysenberry) that I have on tap currently would have to go into the fruit beer category even though it’s sour. Styles don’t matter; it’s ‘do you like the beer or not?’
BN: Always the believer in the Hedonic scale for judging, I couldn’t agree more.
Anyone, who is vaguely familiar with the Hoosier religion known as basketball, would question the televisions at the Brugge being frequently tuned to a soccer channel.
Sarcasm engaged: BN: Being a native of Indiana naturally you’re a big soccer fan?
TM: Exactly. It just happened. I was pretty good at soccer and it went from there. I always have been in love with it and can’t really tell you why. Or why my mother found something to like about it. Maybe it’s because it is the beautiful game?
BN: What or who has been the biggest infl uence on your brewing career?
TM: John Hill, owner and founder of the Broad Ripple Brewpub. Without that guy, I fear where I would be today. Lots of people and events have played a big role with me, but John started it all and to him I owe a lifetime of gratitude.
Finally, I asked John to fi nish this sentence:
BN: Craft beer brewing is like...?
TM: Nothing you could have ever dreamed up for me. It’s as if I were born to be in this business.
People, places and experiences shape lives. If you ever question how far that statement will take you, just ask Ted Miller. He will certainly respond, “At least 57,000 miles.”
Read the full article at http://archive.brewingnews.com/article/57%2C000+Miles+To+Build+A+Dream%3A/688616/65986/article.html.