Friday, November 14, 2014

Meet the Homebruer: Keith Pumilia

We certainly have a lot of new faces around The Bruery lately. Our newest cellarmen comes all the way from Louisiana. Keith's energy and enthusiasm for craft beer is infectious (no pun intended), and it's no wonder when you learn about his homebrew background.

How did you become interested in the hobby?
In 2005 I was visiting my future in-laws in Japan and my future father-in-law showed me how he had been homebrewing for years there. I was immediately hooked.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Share Your Passion: Retail Director Matt on Bluegrass Music

Growing up watching Grandpa Olesh on harmonica, my uncles on stand-up bass and guitar, and Dad on mandolin, it only made sense that I’d end up with an affinity for good old-fashioned bluegrass and country music. Long before I knew of any craft beer or had the slightest idea of what I wanted to do as a career, I knew and loved bluegrass. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my family playing classics like Nine Pound Hammer and Hickory Wind in the garage at family parties.

I don’t recall exactly when I started playing music but I’m extremely grateful that my parents sat me on a piano bench when they did. I played piano for several years, and I like to think I was pretty good at it. But, I wasn’t truly passionate about it. I’m not the type of person to go on doing something I’m not passionate about, and I guess I picked up that trait at a young age.

When I turned 12, I decided to step away from the piano lessons and pick up guitar. Before I knew it, I was playing the blues and learning bits and pieces of popular songs. Then I hit the phase where I listened to a lot of metal and wanted to be in a punk band. Eventually, I rediscovered my roots and officially fell in love with bluegrass music. Artists like Clarence White and Doc Watson simply blew my mind, and I’d listen to & practice the same songs on repeat in hopes of picking up a trick or two. After my first few months of at my first job, I bought myself a bluegrass classic - a Martin HD-28, and it’s still my pride and joy.

A few years back, I heard about an insanely talented young bluegrass musician named Chris Thile. Listening to him is probably the biggest reason I decided to pick up Mandolin. I assume the inner Dead Head is also partially to blame.

As far as concerts go, I try to get to as many shows as I can, and usually plan for at least one bluegrass-heavy festival per year. High Sierra and the Huck Finn Jubilee have been recent favorites. Bands like The Punch Brothers and The Devil Makes Three are always must-sees while in town. I’ve been eyeing a bluegrass festival coming up next March and already can’t wait! There’s just something about seeing a bluegrass band live that’s a little bit transcendent to me. The precise intricate musicianship, the passion you can see and feel, the relaxed and unpretentious vibe, the humble and appreciative attitude. It’s all good stuff, and oddly enough as I hear myself describe what I like about bluegrass music, I could say the same things about why I love the craft beer community as well!

At the end of the day, few things make me as happy as finding the exact song to fit my mood on the way home, cooking dinner while listening to music, or playing music on the couch. Craft beer may be the passion that’s most obvious to the outside world, but right alongside will always be a love for bluegrass music.

Post written by Matt Olesh, our Director of Retail Operations and cheif wearer of fashionable hats.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Meet the Homebruer: Josh Reyes

If you've been to our Tasting Room on weekends recently, you may have noticed the occasional option to sign up for tours of our brewhouse. Though we're working on relaunching an improved tour program in the near future, in the meantime Josh is able to parade a few interested folks around. Josh is one of our newer additions to The Bruery family, but he's by no means new to beer and brewing.

When did you start homebrewing?

Much like many of our own Bruers, I started homebrewing in college.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Share Your Passion: Wood Cellarman Cesar on Making Music

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in music. As a young kid I would steal my dad’s dress shoes, don my tiny blazer and dance for hours in front of the television while Moonwalker played on repeat.

I didn’t have rhythm to save my life but I still went for it. As I got older, I found myself listening to my dad’s LP’s, which I now listen to on a daily basis. Even as a kid, I loved the crazy, sporadic drumming of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Frank Zappa. Trying my hand at snare drum in elementary school, I found myself bored with the marching band’s 1-2-3-4 counts and switched to trumpet. While I played that for a few years, I was disappointed it didn’t give me the freedom to truly “rock out”.

While in middle school, I met a friend who was an aspiring DJ who listened to a new type of music that I wasn’t used to. The nice blend of hip hop and electronic music and rock filling his playlist resulted in a bit of a sporadic feel, but still seemed to flow since all the music had the same roots. We used a program that would use clips of music and we would simply piece everything together to make our own tracks. This program opened a new platform for my musical expression that I would be reintroduced to later in life.

I didn’t get my first drum set until I was out of high school but I borrowed friends’ sets to play in hard rock-type bands. Jumping from band to band, I really couldn’t find people that would want to play the same music that I wanted to play. That’s when I went back to the computer and synthesizers to make electronic music that I could control and make my own.

To this day I still (infrequently) make music in the comfort of my own home just for the sake of making it. I like to DJ house parties or small gigs from time to time and try out the material that I put together. Whenever I get the chance, I’m always down to jam with some friends, analog style. I always keep a pair of drum sticks in my car in case a spontaneous jam sesh presents itself.

Listening, learning, and making music will always be a passion of mine ... of course alongside my passion for great craft beer.

Post written by Cesar Alfaro, one of our packaging team members turned Barrel Whisperer. Cesar is a talented homebrewer and cheesemonger who also goes to lots of epic music shows where he unleashes his glorious flowing locks of El Salvadorian hair.

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