Meet the Brewers: 12 Brewers 12 Casks 12 Mallets Summer Edition

What began as a San Diego Beer Week show of brewing solidarity has metamorphosized into a quarterly tradition that brings out not only fans of Stone beer, but members of Team Stone looking to check out inventive takes on the brewery’s year-round beers. Every three months, we round up a dozen of our brewery staff and invite them to build casks incorporating tasty ingredients ranging from fruits and herbs to tea, specialty hops and different varieties of wood. Then, to stay true to the camaraderie theme that inspired the event in the first place, we hand them mallets (customized to include each brewer’s name and the date of the event) and have them simultaneously tap their casks in the midst of a crowd of thirsty attendees. The next 12 Brewers 12 Casks 12 Mallets event will take place on August 22, 2013 at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido. The beers being offered up are…

  • Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA w/Lychee Fruit & Hersbrucker Hops by Callaway Ryan
  • Stone IPA w/Cacao Nibs & Plums by Zach Goldstein
  • Stone IPA w/Chervil, Savory, Thyme & Lavender by Laura Mirsch
  • Stone IPA w/Tamarind, Lemongrass & Ginger by Josh Hagquist
  • Stone Levitation Ale w/Peppercorn & Cilantro by Kihei Hutchinson
  • Stone Pale Ale w/Lemon Verbena & Bergamot by Steve Via
  • Stone Pale Ale w/Spanish Cedar & Spirals & Szechuan Peppercorns by Jeff Fanno
  • Stone Ruination IPA w/El Dorado Hops, Cilantro & Pineapple by Sander Banta
  • Stone Ruination IPA w/Kumquats & American Oak Chips by Ben Maushardt
  • Stone Ruination IPA w/White Peaches & Chamomile by Anthony Tallman
  • Stone Ruination IPA w/Moroccan Mint Green Tea, Cacao Black Tea & Toasted American Oak Chips by Justinian Caire
  • Stone Smoked Porter w/Shaved Coconut & Toasted Almonds by Joaquin Bowman

We added a new riff to this tradition during its spring rendition, holding a lottery among all members of Team Stone who were interested in participating but had jobs outside the brewery component of our business. The winner that time around was one of our graphic artists, who busted out a cask of Stone Smoked Porter w/Toasted Hazelnuts. This time around, we invited two non-brewers to the festivities, our EH&S Manager and an Assistant Supervisor from Stone Company Store – Escondido. And they’re no slouches. Their casks are every bit as ambitious and slobber-provoking as their fermentation specialist comrades. Take a moment to meet this dastardly dozen before coming out to sample their creations.

Sander Banta, Brewery Production Logistics Coordinator
Stone Ruination IPA w/El Dorado Hops, Cilantro & Pineapple

A-ha craft beer moment:
Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot barley wine really opened my eyes to what was out there besides the usual mass-produced stuff.
How did you get into brewing: A friend in college introduced me to homebrewing and it always stayed in the back of my mind that it’d be an awesome way to make a living. That and I love beer…a lot!
How did you come up with your ingredients: I wanted to combine a few of my favorite flavors with one of my favorite beers. I thought the brightness of the cilantro, the sweetness of the pineapple and the tropical fruit notes of the El Dorado hops would complement Stone Ruination IPA without distracting you from an already great beer.
Cask you’re most excited about: If I had to choose one, Stone Ruination IPA w/Moroccan Mint Green Tea, Cacao Black Tea & Toasted American Oak Chips.
 
Joaquin Bowman, Assistant Brewer
Stone Smoked Porter w/Shaved Coconut & Toasted Almonds
 
A-ha craft beer moment: I remember working at the Portland Brewers Festival while I was going to school at Oregon State and knowing then that I wanted to work in the craft beer sense.
How did you get into brewing: I was a freshman in high school and our English teacher had the class write a report on what sort of job we would like to have out of college. When I was looking through the list of jobs and read the description for brewmaster, I knew then what I wanted to do. So, I have been homebrewing since then and earned a Food Science and Technology degree at OSU with an option in Fermentation Science and an emphasis on Brewing.
How did you come up with your ingredients: I’m not really sure how I came up with the ingredients, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that I love Almond Joy candy bars.
Cask you’re most excited about: I am excited to try Stone IPA w/Cacao Nibs & Plums.
 
Justinian Caire, Brewery Trainer
Stone Ruination IPA w/Moroccan Mint Green Tea, Cacao Black Tea & Toasted American Oak Chips
 
A-ha craft beer moment: I was about 21 and hadn’t really explored beer very much. I was aware of Stone Smoked Porter and Arrogant Bastard Ale because some friends would bring them around every once in a while and they were waaaaaaaay to bitter for me. (I was not Worthy.) One day a roommate left a few bottles of amber lager in the fridge so I popped one and it was the first beer I actually enjoyed the taste of. I thought, “OK, that was cool. Let’s keep trying new things.”
How did you get into brewing: I ended up with a Chemical Engineering degree from UCSD. People told me that was a good background for brewing and I laughed and thought, “Ha, suuuuuure I could get to be the one lucky enough to brew beer for a living.” Then I thought, “Wait/ Why not?” And after the Davis Master Brewers program, here I am.
How did you come up with your ingredients: I went to George Sr.’s sweat lodge and had a vision while dehydrated. I also spent my life’s savings on a glass of lemonade. Hopefully, there are some Arrested Development fans out there. I actually just wanted to do something with mint and chocolate flavors.
Cask you’re most excited about: All of them, but if I have to pick, Stone Ruination IPA w/El Dorado Hops, Cilantro IPA with Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA w/Lychee Fruit & Hersbrucker Hops a close second.
 
Jeff Fanno, Environmental Health & Safety Manager
Stone Pale Ale w/Spanish Cedar Spirals & Szechuan Peppercorns
 
A-ha craft beer moment: I had two. The first was buying Pete’s Wicked Ale at Trader Joe’s and really digging the flavor. The second was downing some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at Whitney Portal the night before hiking Mount Whitney. I should have drunk more water because I got wicked altitude sickness on the way up, but I finished the hike.
How did you get into brewing: My friends brewed in college and I loved reaping the benefits of their time and effort. Later, my wife bought me a brewing kit from Home Brew Mart and I got hooked. I once brewed a pumpkin ale with pumpkins from my garden, but all the sugars created over-fermentation, which caused a beer volcano at three in the morning. But the beer turned out pretty good.
How did you come up with your ingredients: I grilled salmon on a cedar plank and was thinking of a great beer to pair it with, and thought a pale ale with its caramel flavor and almost earthy taste would take on cedar and peppercorns very well.
Cask you’re most excited about: All of them. I’m hoping my palate survives the night.
 
Zach Goldstein, Assistant Brewer
Stone IPA w/Cacao Nibs & Plums
 
A-ha craft beer moment: I had access to a lot of great beer by going to college in upstate New York, so I guess I just fell into it. I wanted to try as much as I could to expand my palate.
How did you get into brewing: I was working in the music industry for a while but hated sitting behind a desk all day. One summer, I decided to leave my job. Having nothing to do, I decided to brew a batch of beer with my dad and immediately got drawn to the combination of science and creativity.
How did you come up with your ingredients: I was at the farmers market and stumbled upon some really great plums, so those were my first thought. The cacao nibs are because I wanted to try something different. When running the cask idea past people I got some pretty strange looks, which was perfect. I want to turn some heads and change the game up.
Cask you’re most excited about: Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA w/Lychee Fruit & Hersbrucker Hops, because I’m a fan of spices and strange fruits and have never tried lychee in a beer but think this combination could be very interesting.
 
Josh Hagquist, Stone Store Assistant Supervisor
Stone IPA w/Tamarind, Lemongrass & Ginger
 
A-ha craft beer moment: Wen I lived in Calgary, Alberta, I tried a Big Rock Traditional Ale. I had slogged around the fizzy yellow beer cesspool and this actually had flavor. My next experience was with Anchor Steam when I moved back to California in 1998, and that is when I officially started my craft beer journey.
How did you get into brewing: I’m not a brewer by any stretch. I appreciate the art and science of it all, but I’ve never been at a place where I wanted to brew my own beer. I’ll leave the actual brewing to those trained in that art and enjoy drinking what they’ve concocted.
How did you come up with your ingredients: I’ve always been a huge fan of Thai food and liked the dark fruit, fig and raisin qualities of tamarind. It’s tart and has a lot of flavor. I like the pairing of the lemongrass and tamarind and thought it would go well with our IPA.
Cask you’re most excited about: I’m looking forward to trying them all. Just to be included in this event is awesome for me since I’m not on the production side of things.
 
Kihei Hutchinson, Assistant Brewer
Stone Levitation Ale w/Peppercorn & Cilantro
 
A-ha craft beer moment: There was no a-ha moment for me. I simply had major drive to work for Stone.
How did you get into brewing: By getting a job at Stone.
What do you do at Stone: Cleaning…lots of cleaning. Senior Janitor is my unofficial rank.
How did you come up with your ingredients: I wanted to add some spice without a lot of heat.
Cask you’re most excited about: Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA w/Lychee Fruit & Hersbrucker Hops looks tasty.
 
Ben Maushardt, Intern
Stone Ruination IPA w/Kumquats & American Oak Chips
 
A-ha craft beer moment: I was going to school at Chico State, which is known for its Keystone consumption, and had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I remember thinking, “Wow, if this is possible, imagine what else is out there.” After that, I made my first batch of homebrew and have been on the hunt to make and drink the best beer possible ever since.
How did you get into brewing: I jumped in by myself, and after extensive research, I began to figure out how to make better beer. I read The Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian and got some help from my buddy Brendan Megowan, who is an excellent homebrewer.
How did you come up with your ingredients: This was inspired by my sister, Addie Woodward, and her husband Dave. There’s a massive kumquat tree on the family farm, which produced all the kumquats that are in the cask. Since their last name is Woodward, I immediately thought, oak. To top it off, they both love a hoppy IPA. East choice, let’s make it a double—Stone Ruination IPA it is.
Cask you’re most excited about: I think it’s all going to be amazing—lots of wild ingredients being brought into play.
 
Laura Mirsch, Assistant Brewer
Stone IPA w/Chervil, Savory, Thyme & Lavender
 
A-ha craft beer moment: I worked at wineries in Sonoma and Napa, and spent more time than I should have during my first harvest at both Bear Republic Brewing Company and Russian River Brewing Company. We always used to joke that in order to make good wine you need an awful lot of amazing beer, and we certainly had plenty. My a-ha moment probably came while drinking a Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA in New York, though. It tasted like home and really made me miss working in production.
How did you get into brewing: I grew up with a homebrewing German-Midwestern family, then lived in Germany for a while as a young adult. I spent half my time living on the French border in German wine country and the rest in a small town just south of Munich. Needless to say, I fell in love with acidic, mineral wines and gorgeous pilsners.
How did you come up with your ingredients: My number one passion is cooking. I love French cuisine, especially the flavors of Provence. Our IPA goes really well with a super ripe bleu cheese drizzled with honey and sprinkled with herbes de Provence. I’m hoping to fold some of that spicy herbaceousness into the beer itself.
Cask you’re most excited about: I’m super pumped about Stone IPA w/Cacao Nibs & Plums. I love that it’s taking Stone IPA in a totally different direction than I am.
 
Callaway Ryan, Senior Brewer
Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA w/Lychee Fruit & Hersbrucker Hops
 
A-ha craft beer moment: Trying Shiner Hefeweizen at a house party in Austin, Texas. I had no idea that beers could have flavors like that. I found the Draught House brewpub soon after that and stepped up to big-boy beers. It was there that I tried Great Divide’s Old Ruffian barley wine when it first came out and it blew my mind.
How did you get into brewing: A good friend got me into homebrewing while working in the coffee and tea section of a specialty grocery. I quickly went off the deep end and attended the ABG, apprenticing myself to Live Oak Brewing Company. I then moved on to the bottling line at Real Ale Brewing Company. That was back in the days when they were still brewing out of the basement of an antique store in the town square of Blanco, Texas. Surly Brewing is where I really learned my craft, though. Todd Haug is an amazing brewer and I’m proud to have worked with him.
How did you come up with your ingredients: I’ve loved the smell of lychee since I was a kid. It’s almost as if roses and apples had a baby. I’ve been looking for a way to use it in brewing for a while now and the floral, fruity hop notes of Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA seem like the perfect match.
Cask you’re most excited about: Stone Pale Ale w/Spanish Cedar Spirals & Szechuan Peppercorns should be an unforgettable experience, but I’m honestly looking forward to trying them all.
 
Anthony Tallman, Brewer
Stone Ruination IPA w/White Peaches & Chamomile
 
A-ha craft beer moment: The first time I tried a sour beer, which happened to be one of the best sours out there in my opinion, Russian River Beautification.
How did you get into brewing: I got into brewing through a friend of mine. Her dad has been homebrewing for the past 20 years and invited me to brew a summer ale with her for his daughter’s birthday barbecue about five years ago.
How did you come up with your ingredients: I knew I wanted to choose a hoppy beer and, initially, I wanted to do a slightly more unique citrusy fruit like tangerines. Upon finding out that they weren’t in season, the produce guy at Whole Foods turned me on to their organic white peaches. He cut one up for me to try and I instantly knew that was what I wanted. I also knew I wanted to add a soothing, floral/herbal component and that’s why I chose chamomile.
Cask you’re most excited about: I am really looking forward to Stone Ruination IPA w/Kumquats & American Oak Chips.
 
Steve Via, Brewer
Stone Pale Ale w/Lemon Verbena & Bergamot
 
A-ha craft beer moment: When I was working as a driver at Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing, I was a newb’ and naïve to what beer actually could be. After my first night of delivering pizza ended, I sat at the bar with a few co-workers and perused the beer selection. I had no idea what to order since there was no Coors Light or Guiness. Oggi’s only served Ogg’s beer, so I decided on a Black Magic Stout. First taste: “I don’t know about this.” Second taste: “This is actually pretty good.” Fifth pint: “Can someone drive me home?”
How did you get into brewing: Out of necessity and luck. I was out of work due to a slide in the construction field and needed to pay bills desperately. A buddy of mine and active homebrewer told me that a brewery in Escondido was hiring for the bottling line. Six years later, I am now brewing beer in one of, if not the best breweries in the world.
How did you come up with your ingredients: I have a deep appreciation for Jean Luc Picard and his craving for a little tea known as Earl Grey. My hope with this cask is to bring a little bit of Earl Picard to you, the taster. When having this beer, I want you to take a sip, close your eyes and remember the sweet lament Picard plays on Kamin’s flute (Kamin being Picard’s name when he lived an entire lifetime on another world that was actually only in his mind from Season 5, Episode 25 “The Inner Light”…one of my favorite episodes) at the end of his ordeal. <sniff>
Cask you’re most excited about: I am a fan of peppery things, so Stone Pale Ale w/Spanish Cedar Spirals & Szechuan Peppercorns.

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