10 Questions with the Freshest Voices in Craft Beer • Hop Culture
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9.5.17

10 Questions with the Freshest Voices in Craft Beer

Meet the minds behind some of the best articles, Instagrams, and recommendations in beer.

Written by Evan Malachosky

Image by EM

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There are over 5,000 breweries in the United States. It’d be difficult to traverse the country to see and taste them all — not exactly an unenjoyable job, but the distance makes this quest nearly insurmountable. But, across the country there are great writers, photographers, and beer-aficionados who make visiting a city and keeping tabs on the industry a little easier. Meet and learn a little more about eight of the best beer writers, photographers, and tasters. They’re not half bad as people, either.

Jono Galuszka

Craft Beer Correspondent

Hometown?
I was born and raised in Wainuiomata, New Zealand.

Where do you work?
I work in Palmerston North, New Zealand — I’m a court reporter for Fairfax Media and correspondent for the Crafty Pint.

Favorite hometown brewery?
I don’t believe Wainuiomata has ever had a brewery.

Favorite national brewery?
At the moment, it’s North End Brewing, based out of Waikanae. Their spontaneous beer program is one of the best in New Zealand – while Iron Sands chocolate rye oatmeal stout has been my go-to during the cooler months. I also have a soft spot for their ESB.

Favorite brewery in your current city?
Massey University. Yes, the local university has its own microbrewery. It contracts excess space out to commercial brewers needing some contracting space.

Favorite style of beer?
Russian imperial stout.

First beer you ever had?
Probably a Crown Lager. My dad used to make me shandies with it.

Best beer you’ve ever had?
The one that sticks in my mind the most is “Screwtop”, the rye pale ale infused with feijoa green tea that I made in collaboration with Yeastie Boys in 2013 — if only because the recipe is so much fun to muck around with when homebrewing.

Beer goes best with ____?
People.

In 2017 you want to see ____?
Good beer make its way into more small corners of New Zealand. Many of the pubs in rural towns are tied to big breweries, making it hard for independent brewers to sell in those areas. But, things are changing, partly because more breweries are opening in the provinces.

Read Jono’s Work

Liz Traks

Product Photographer

Hometown?
Carmel, NY.

Where do you work?
I’m a product photographer at ThinkGeek.

Favorite hometown brewery?
Suarez Family, even though I still haven’t visited them yet. I have an amazing mother who will generously pick up bottles for me.

Favorite national brewery?
Trillium.

Favorite brewery in your current city?
Aslin.

Favorite style of beer?
IPAs, or stouts if it’s sweater weather.

First beer you ever had?
My dad used to let me sip off his beer as a kid, so probably Genesee or whatever beer my mom had a coupon for that week.

Best beer you’ve ever had?
Buku Mocha, an Imperial Stout collab with Aslin and Horus Aged Ales. At 18 percent ABV, it was way too tasty and dangerously drinkable. Truly hope they make this again.

Beer goes best with ____?
Good times and friends.

In 2017 you want to see beer ____?
Keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

Follow Liz on Instagram

Alex Delany

Assistant Web Editor

Hometown?
Greater Philadelphia area.

Where do you work?
I’m an assistant web editor at Bon Appétit.

Favorite hometown brewery?
Not specifically my hometown, but whenever I’m back in the Philly area, it’s definitely Tired Hands. Jean’s creativity and yeast strains make for killer saisons.

Favorite national brewery?
Hill Farmstead is the best brewery on the planet. Hands down. That’s a given, though, so I’m going with Suarez Family Brewery. Dan is brewing lagers and pilsners better than any I’ve ever had. He’s absolutely killing it — so much love for his beers.

Favorite brewery in your current city?
I live in New York City. In terms of solely beer, Grimm Artisanal Ales. Joe and Lauren brew every style of beer so damn well. In terms of a brewery to visit, Threes can’t be beaten. I’ve lost entire days in the backyard. That’s the kind of drinking environment every brewery should aspire to create.

Favorite style of beer?
A single IPA, around 6.5% ABV. Table beer has been making a name for itself in my world though.

First beer you ever had?
Pretty sure the first brew I ever tried was a Coors Light, but the first craft beer I ever tried was a Victory Prima Pils. It’s actually still one of my favorites. It’s the ultimate newcomer craft beer, perfect for the person who wants to explore craft but is used to American macro lagers.

Best beer you’ve ever had?
Shit, man. That’s a loaded question. It’s not my favorite beer, but I remember having a pint of Switchback Ale after not drinking for a month. That was a gloriously beautiful moment. Beer has never tasted better, for me, than it did then. That’s why I love beer. It’s totally subjective.

Beer goes best with ____?
French fries. I don’t know what happens, scientifically, when beer meets French fries, but whatever the hell it is, I am very very down with it.

In 2017 you want to see beer ____?
Everywhere. In your hand. In my hand. On a mountain. On a boat. Strapped to a helicopter. Shot out of a t-shirt cannon. In your favorite restaurant. Supporting artists, chefs, and communities in small towns and major cities across the country. Everywhere.

Read Alex’s Work

Matt Canning

Beer Concierge

Hometown?
Burlington, VT.

Where do you work?
I’m the Beer Concierge at Hotel Vermont.

Favorite hometown brewery?
Zero Gravity.

Favorite national brewery?
Sierra Nevada.

Favorite brewery in your current city?
Foam Brewers.

Favorite style of beer?
Farmhouse ales — particularly from Hill Farmstead.

Best beer you’ve ever had?
Hill Farmstead Art, their wine barrel-aged Arthur.

Beer goes best with ____?
Friends, strangers, cheese, proper glassware, boats, dogs, and definitely not cats.

In 2017 you want to see beer ____?
Enthusiasts and novices alike continue to travel to Vermont to experience our outdoors, culture, world class beer, and hospitality.

Read More About Matt’s Job

Mike Potter

Founder

Hometown?
Pittsburgh, PA.

Where do you work?
Black Brew Culture Magazine.

Favorite hometown brewery?
East End Brewery.

Favorite national brewery?
Black Frog Brewery in Holland, Ohio.

Favorite brewery in your current city?
Voodoo Brewery in Homestead, PA.

Favorite style of beer?
BA imperial stout.

First beer you ever had?
First mass produced? Budweiser. First craft? Sam Adams.

Best beer you’ve ever had?
Frogalicious from Black Frog Brewery.

Beer goes best with ____?
Seafood.

In 2017 you want to see beer ____?
Get better distribution of black-owned breweries.

Follow Mike On Instagram

Joshua M. Bernstein

Freelance Writer and Published Author

Hometown?
Brooklyn, New York.

Where do you work?
My home office in my apartment. I’ve been a freelance writer for, oh, 16 years.

Favorite hometown brewery?
I steadily rotate through New York City breweries, hitting Other Half for IPAs, Folksbier and Threes for pilsners, Strong Rope for stouts, Transmitter for wild beers, and Greenpoint Beer & Ale, Keg & Lantern, and Rockaway Brewing for whatever is fresh, fresh, fresh.

Favorite national brewery?
Oh, that’s like a parent naming a favorite kid. We’re in an era of unparalleled bounty in America. I can only hope to drink it all up.

Favorite brewery in your current city?
Can I plead the fifth? I’m often posted up at Covenhoven, my local beer bar and bottle shop, working my way through a couple new-to-me pints.

Favorite style of beer?
You’ll regularly find me crushing pilsners, IPAs, and whatever is fresh and interesting.

First beer you ever had?
Most likely Busch Light, consumed via bong in my suburban Ohio backyard.

Best beer you’ve ever had?
The Sierra Nevada Celebration after my daughter, Violet, was born in 2013.

Beer goes best with ____?
Friends.

In 2017 you want to see beer ____?
Just get along.

Buy Joshua’s Book

Cory Smith

Freelance Creative Director

Hometown?
Hampton, Virginia.

Where do you work?
I’m a freelance creative director/art director — as well as a photographer and writer.

Favorite hometown brewery?
Richmond is my adopted “second” hometown, so I’ll go with The Veil.

Favorite national brewery?
Allagash.

Favorite brewery in your current city?
At the moment, it’s Three Brewing, but that can change weekly — we have so many amazing breweries in Brooklyn now.

Favorite style of beer?
At the moment, pilsner.

First beer you ever had?
Red, White & Blue Beer.

Best beer you’ve ever had?
I definitely attach beers to experiences. So, for me, it’s a toss up between two. They serve an extra cold Cruzcampo, called glacial, in Seville and other parts of Southern Spain, and when we stopped for one, on a day that was 104 degrees, it was magic. The other would be recently having fresh Pilsner Urquell from Lokál in Prague. The foamy head and perfect carbonation on this classic beer is something that will stick with me for a long time to come.

Beer goes best with ____?
Friends.

In 2017 you want to see beer ____?
Remain fun.

See Cory’s Work

Dee Stecco

Polished Instagrammer

Hometown?
Originally from Miami, Florida.

Where do you work?
The healthcare, IT field.

Favorite hometown brewery?
In South Florida, I’d say Due South Brewing and J. Wakefield.

Favorite national brewery?
I used to say Bell’s but now there are so many — I really can’t choose.

Favorite brewery in your current city?
Lots of choices in Asheville — Burial, Hi-Wire, and Highland, for starters.

Favorite style of beer?
IPA.

First beer you ever had?
Budweiser Select.

Best beer you’ve ever had?
Oh man, how do I even answer that? Some beer is just delicious, but sometimes it’s the experience you had while drinking a beer that makes you fond of it. Right now, I’d say maybe Russian River Supplication just because it was my first experience with a sour beer.

Beer goes best with ____?
ALL the cheese.

In 2017 you want to see beer ____?
Continue to be in the spotlight when it comes to food pairings. Also, I love the creativity and effort breweries are putting into their labels/branding so I can’t wait to see more of that.

Follow Dee On Instagram