In a few weeks, we’ll be bringing our Juicy Brews festival to the Bay Area with Juicy Brews WestFest. This is Hop Culture’s first time on the West Coast and we’re excited to reconnect with some of our favorite breweries in the area, as well as introduce Oakland locals to our East Coast buddies like Magnify, Dancing Gnome, and Triple Crossing.
To find out a little more from our friends out west, we asked them a few questions about their history, favorite music, and their thoughts on juicy IPAs.
In this edition, we chatted with Brian Koloszyc, brewer and owner of Novel Brewing Co.
As an English and Philosophy major, Brian Koloszyc loved literature–enough to name his brewery after his passion. Novel Brewing Co., located in Oakland, CA, is stocked with a full library for drinkers to peruse. Koloszyc has even named a few beers after a his favorite books, like Infinite Jest and Sherlock Holmes. Novel’s literary theme isn’t a gimmick or marketing ploy, it combines two of Koloszyc’s loves: beer and books.
Koloszyc’s appreciation for craft beer didn’t happen overnight, though. His first time brewing was on a date with Teresa Tamburello, who would eventually become his wife and another owner of the brewery. Then in 2016, the couple opened Novel Brewing in North Oakland, establishing a neighborhood hotspot for beer drinkers and bibliophiles alike.
Unfortunately, because Koloszyc is busy brewing up delicious IPAs, saisons, and Berliner Weisses, he doesn’t have time to read all that much anymore. But, he did take a break from his brew day to answer a few questions and share his thoughts on hazy IPAs.
John Paradiso: How’d you get your start in the brewing industry?
Brian Koloszyc: Homebrewing, of course! Which led to getting educated by the American Brewers Guild, saving money to open a small brewery, and just jumping in without looking back! There was a lot of bootstrapping involved, too, as a small, family-owned brewery.
JP: What are your thoughts on the state of hazy IPAs in the industry?
BK: We enjoy making and drinking them. Seeing an IPA on tap is no longer a one-note wonder. You have to dig in a bit to figure out if its West Coast, East Coast, Hazy, Milkshake, Brut, or some other IPA style that someone is coming up right now. Innovation is great and we welcome it to continue to let the beer makers and beer drinkers find what they love (or hate).
JP: Are you reading anything interesting?
BK: Laughably, as we are known for our great novel collection in the tasting room, we don’t have much time for reading these days. But we always throw out our favorite novel for anyone that is ready for something to sink your teeth into: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. We have had two beers, so far, named from this novel: Subsidized Time (Barleywine) and Joelle (Berliner Weisse).
Catch Novel Brewing at Juicy Brews WestFest in Oakland, CA on April 22nd.