10 Questions with Ben Flerchinger of Lucky Labrador Brewing
Lucky Labrador Brewing
1) If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only choose one pound of either hops, water, barley, or yeast, which would it be, and why?
Yeast. There has to be something with sugar in it on the island.
2) What is the best aspect of NW beer drinkers?
Knowledge. NW beer drinkers know their stuff. Also, I would say that they are not afraid to give a new beer a try.
3) What is your favorite beer style, and why?
What have you got?
4) What is the first beer you brewed that was worthy of a name?
I brewed a pale amber in honor of one of our old brewers returning to work. Welcome Back Ale. It was the first beer I got to make all on my own so it was pretty cool for me. We are still looking for the exact specs on pale ambers but I think I was pretty close.
5) Where do you get your inspiration from when creating new beers?
I try to think of the wierdest thing you could do to or put in a beer and get shot down from there. Belmont station is another great source of inspiration. Homebrewers can give you some interesting ideas too, stuff you would never think of doing in big batches.
6) What is the most misunderstood aspect of being a professional brewer?
A friend of ours has a plaque displayed right as you walk into his brewery, it reads "Brewing is not fun. Brewing is a job, it is hard work." I agree with that, except every once in a while you get to have some fun.
7) What characteristics of Portland make this area so popular for brewers, breweries, and consumers?
Portlanders seem to have a great sense of being in touch with what we eat and drink. From farmer's markets to community gardens and craft breweries, people get to see where a product comes from, how it is made, and who made it.
8) If “Northwest Ale” was added as a new style of beer, what would it be?
Dry hopped pale ale, that seems to be what the peoples want to drink.
9) What is the most underrated hop?
10) What are the relationships like between competing brewers? Is there a sense of community, friendly competition, etc.?
I think Portland brewers tend to be competing more with the brewers in Golden, Colorado or St. Louis, Missouri than we are competing amongst ourselves. We tend to help out each other as much as we can, there is plenty of room for all of us.
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