Beer: proof that God loves us
Editors note: Brew Genius, a seasonal weekly feature, profiles some of the homebrewers competing at this years Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival, which takes place Jan. 10 to 12 at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa. For more information on the event, visit http://www.bigbeersfestival.com or call High Point Brewing at 524-1092.
Vail Daily: Evolution of a brewer: From a style and/or technique standpoint, where did you start? Where are you now?Philip Penningroth: I started homebrewing on my kitchen stove using extract malts and partial mashes to make five gallons of beer (ales). I now am an all-grain brewer using a MoreBeer Ultimate structure to make 10 gallons of beer (lagers and ales).VD: Do you brew alone or with others? Why?PP: I typically brew alone because there is a lot of equipment to get ready and clean for the next phase of the brewing cycle. I believe that if I were to document the process I could probably sit back and watch others brew while I quaff a brew or two.VD: Where do you brew? How many beers do you have cellaring at any given time?PP: I have a nanobrewery in my basement with a walk-in cooler. The cooler has six taps sticking through the wall and into the bar area. Guests are welcome to grab a pint glass and pour themselves a beer.VD: Do you brew enough to drink your own beer all year long?PP: I easily brew enough beer to drink my own all year long. I like to host competitions and sporting events so my friends can come over and help me drink the beer I brew.VD: Whats your favorite commercially produced beer?PP: Wow, tough question to answer since my tastes change through the seasons. I am partial to German lagers and Belgian ales. If I had to narrow it down to a brewery I would choose Gordon Biersch in Broomfield, CO. VD: What is your ultimate beer – food pairing?PP: Belgian style ales are always great in food pairing events.VD: What are you entering in the Big Beers Homebrew Competition this January? (Name/Style)PP: I will be entering my Ill Be Bock/Traditional Bock and my Very Nicebock/Eisbock in the Big Beers Homebrew Competition this January.VD: Whats your favorite beer quote or motto?PP: The greatest beer quote ever was on Cheers when Cliff Clavin was explaining the Buffalo Theory to his buddy Norm. Heres how it went:Well ya see, Norm, its like this… A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. Thats why you always feel smarter after a few beers.VD: Why is beer wonderful?PP: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.VD: If you couldnt drink beer, what would you drink?PP: Wine. You can have the nicest brewery in town serving the finest of beers; however, now and then I like to enjoy a nice, dry Cabernet Sauvignon.For more information, visit http://www.bigbeersfestival.com.
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