Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Meet the Hombruer: Matt Olesh

Homebrewing is where Patrick and the OG Bruery crew first got their adorable little beer making sea-legs. The homebrew community is certainly still a priority to us, and so for our milestone batches we host a competition where the winning recipe comes from ... you guessed it: homebrewers! So far we've made Batch 1, 50, 300 and are now on to our 1000th batch featuring a recipe from Brian and Bryan (AKA Briyan) from Colorado. They'll be coming out to visit us in mid-July to help brew Batch 1000, a Cascadian dark rye.

Though we are a larger company now than when we started only five years ago, our passion for brewing (and goofing off) has only grown stronger. Whether we work in the office, tasting room, or brewery itself, lots of us homebrew when we're off the clock, even though we're around it all day!

We're highlighting our "homebruers" in a series of blogposts in support of our upcoming Batch 1000 beer. This time we're featuring a man who is no stranger to many of you who hang at The Bruery Tasting Room. Matt Olesh is our Director of Retail Operations and he's been a homebrewing for about 5 years now.

When did you start homebrewing?
I bought my first kit with a buddy in college. I think I was 20 at the time, and I remember being super nervous that they'd card me and I wouldn't be able to brew. Alas, the beer gods were looking out for us and we were soon on our way to brewing a partial grain kit recipe of a hoppy red ale. Surprisingly enough, the beer actually came out great! We weren't so lucky with subsequent batches.

What sparked your interest in homebrewing?
I've always enjoyed cooking at home and I find hands-on projects to be very rewarding. I had fallen into a position at work where I was in charge of ordering craft beer. I guess I saw homebrewing as a great way to sink deeper into the world of craft beer. Brewing helped me fast-track my beer education and proved to be a hobby that I'd enjoy for many years to come.

What's in your carboy right now?
I bottled a Blood Orange DIPA (with Simcoe and Amarillo hops) and brewed a New Zealand hop IPA (Motueka and Nelson) last night. I'm thinking about adding peaches to the NZ IPA - I mean, that just screams summer to me! I like that homebrewing affords you the opportunity to take more risks than those with which professional brewers may feel more comfortable.

What was your biggest disaster?
A Imperial Porter with pumpkin and chocolate ... gone sour.

Do you have a, "Whoa it was super cool this one time this thing happened!" moment you can share?
I still kind of get that feeling each time I crack into a new homebrew. It's a really amazing feeling to have stuck with this hobby for some time now and see the improvement in my beers.

What advice do you have for a new homebrewer?
1) Learn the rules before you break them.
2) Listen to everyone when they tell you to sanitize everything!
3) Don't drink too much while you brew.

For some more titillating hombrue anecdotes and advice from our team check out

Read about the rest of our homebrewers on The Bruery staff in our Meet the Homebruer series:

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