10 Questions with Dave Fleming 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!!! We'll find something to ferment on that island.
2) What is the best aspect of NW beer drinkers?
People love beer. I can't imagine living in Mississippi where there is no beer culture. Okay, I'll be ready to respond to someone defending Mississippi, a place I've never been and don't know much about but beer doesn't come to mind.
3) What is your favorite beer style, and why?
I like hoppy IPA's. They are what the northwest is all about.
4) What is the first beer you brewed that was worthy of a name?
I made a beer in college using water from the shower. Sounds disgusting but it turned out quite well. I guess if you boil long enough anything is possible. Shower Stall Stout Anyone?
5) Where do you get your inspiration from when creating new beers?
I ask our other brewer Ben and he'll say we should add x to the beer (x= any known planet or vegetable in the world). Then I say no. Then Ben will say try this, he'll juice some weird vegetable and he'll mix it in one of our beers. We'll both try it and go NO! Then a couple of sips later (I really have to stop second sipping). Ben will say that's kinda GOOD!!!
6) What is the most misunderstood aspect of being a professional brewer?
It's work. We don't just drink beer all day like my job is some kinda college frat party. Do I go down to YOUR work and bug you??? All kidding aside, it's a job I love and people appreciate what we do, but sometimes it can be distraction.
7) What characteristics of Portland make this area so popular for brewers, breweries, and consumers?
I think Portlanders identify themselves with the laid back beer lifestyle. It's kinda a microcosim for the city. They don't take themselves that seriously and a good beer is sometimes, most of the time, better than wine, and definitely cheaper. Plus the water, rainy weather, and all the standard crap other people will say. Portlanders love the role of living in beervana and showing it off to friends and relatives from far away places because most of us are transplants anyhow. It gives us a sense of place.
8) If “Northwest Ale” was added as a new style of beer, what would it be?
Some kind of double beer with tons of ingredients, tons of flavor, lots of alcohol and plenty of hops.
9) What is the most underrated hop?
I like Liberty's. They seem a little under used in my opinion. They are closely related to the noble hops but seem a little spicier and have a little more American flavor.
10) What are the relationships like between competing brewers? Is there a sense of community, friendly competition, etc.?
If anything, the competition is only friendly. Maybe winning best of show or peoples award at a brewfest or such may give you a little bragging rights, but we are all friends and all help each other. That's one of the great things about being in this industry, there is true community in the Portland brewing scene.
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