Vail Daily Brew Genius: ‘Fun to talk beer’
Editor’s note: Brew Genius, an annual feature we run every winter, profiles some of the homebrewers competing at this years Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywine Festival. The 11th annual festival takes place Jan. 6-8 at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. For more information on the event, visit http://www.bigbeersfestival.com or call High Point Brewing at 970-524-1092. 1. Vail Daily: How did you start brewing?Aaron Heaton: It all started with my wife (typical male right?). We had moved from Colorado to North Carolina. At the time NC was limited on beer selection due to legal issues (could not sell/make over a 6 percent beer). She came back from a trip and talked to a crazy homebrew who went into great depth about homebrewing. There was a homebrew shop in Charlotte that he referenced. We drove five hours round trip (not knowing there was a shop 30 minutes away) and picked up our equipment and our first three batches. 2. VD: Where do you brew? How many beers do you have cellaring at any given time? AH: Grimm Brothers Brewhouse is located in Loveland. We are relatively new so I have been playing around with recipes we already have and adding different things to it. For instance, we added coffee to our German Porter and dry hopped our alt beer with American hops. We go though beers fast enough we can really play. My next play is to start adding wood chips aged in bourbon, etc. 3. VD: What is your favorite beer-related destination? AH: I would LOVE to go to Germany sometime, Munich specifically. But my favorite place I have gone is San Diego. There are so many good breweries that have a lot of fun things around. Stone was a great place to visit and had an amazing selection of beers, both aged and fresh. 4. VD: What is your ultimate beer-food pairing? AH: I’m simple went it comes to food pairings. I love cheese. I love beer. So the two together makes me very happy. 5. VD: What’s the most interesting ingredient you’ve ever used in a beer? AH: I made a basil beer that came out fantastic. Basically a simple blonde recipe and added fresh basil. I have tried multiple times to do it again, but the first one with fresh basil was the best. Great with pizza. If we can work it out we have some fun Berlinerweisse-esk beers that we can play with but that might be for the future. 6. VD: What advice do you have for someone thinking about getting into homebrewing? AH: We have see a lot of new brewers since opening Grimm Brothers. This first step is not to make everything complicated. It’s a lot like cooking. Add a little bit of this add a little bit of that and clean your equipment. 7. VD: Are homebrewing, homebrew clubs, and other homebrewing related activities a social opportunity for you? or do you prefer to only brew? AH: There are a variety of clubs in Northern Colorado that are available. I have always been a club kind of guy. I like the social aspect of beer. Plus it’s fun to talk about beer. 8. VD: Are organic ingredients of specific interest to you? Are locally produced ingredients important to you when choosing for your homebrew recipe? AH: I don’t really pay attention to organic ingredients. … Although I am finding that some of the organic breweries are making some fantastic things. Asher Brewing Company in Boulder and Funkwerks in Fort Collins are making some amazing beers.
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