Our brewmaster Brandon Greenwood (or Oscar as we sometimes call him) has many accolades. He’s an award-winning brewmaster with 20 years of experience in the industry. He is the the recipient of multiple medals from the Great American Beer Festival, and most recently built and lead the team that was responsible for bringing to life and operating the new brewing facility in Chicago, IL for Lagunitas, the #5 Craft Brewer in the U.S by sales volume.
That all being said, we wanted to give you a little more than what you could read off his resume. Here’s a glimpse into the mind of our brewer!
How did you get your start in brewing?
I travelled around Europe for a month back in 92. One of those weeks was spent in Prague. While there I found a tiny, ancient brewpub that brewed, what is still to this day, the best beer I have had. It was a dark lager and the only way that I can articulate how good it was is to compare it to a warm chocolate chip cookie just out of the oven. Anyway, after a couple of years of bad homebrew (mostly mine) I decided I was ready to become a professional brewer. After a fair bit of research into brewing schools I made up my mind to attend Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh, Scotland and here I am 20 years later very glad to still be at it.
What’s your beer philosophy?
I believe in the power of “wow.” You only get one chance to earn a Craft beer drinkers loyalty. The beer you make had better be so damn good that the first word out of his or her mouth after the first sip is ‘wow!”
What’s the most important thing to remember when making beer?
You can’t brew a world class beer from poor quality raw materials. In other words, “crap in….crap out.”
What is the best learning experience you’ve had in the brewing industry? Working for the Genesee Brewery in Rochester, NY.. I could write a book from all that I learned there but the single most important take away for me was that things in the brewery aren’t black and white. In fact, more often than not, they’re grey. I learned how to brew great beer in the grey.
Best tip for home-brewers? Read up on good hygienic practice and step away from the bleach
If you’re not drinking Yee-Haw, what are you reaching for? Anything from Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA) or Yards Brewing (Philadelphia, PA)
Who is your beer mentor? I don’t have a someone I would call a mentor per say but there have been a few key people in the industry that have been kind enough to share their brewing knowledge and wisdom with me over the course of my career. It is safe to say without their teachings my time in brewing would have been much less rewarding.
What’s the best music to brew to? Chicago Blues
What beer would you like to make but have not? A really good Maibock
What’s the biggest personal change you’ve ever made? Someone started calling me Dad.
Do people really get any wiser as they get older? I sure hope so.
For what conspiracy theory do you secretly hold beliefs? Roswell, NM
What is the best thing you’ve ever been for Halloween? A designated driver
What is your favorite place you’ve ever been? Edinburgh, Scotland with my wife.
Now really important stuff:
Invisibility or flight? Invisibility
Pirates or ninjas? Pirates, way better lifestyle…rum, beaches, hammocks, and the occasional looting and pillaging.
Draft, bottle, or can? Draft, every time.
Eat in or eat out? In
Robocop or Terminator? Neither, I am more the “Snuggle Bear” sort.