About The Two Beer Dudes
The Two Beer Dudes 'What & Why' Statement
twobeerdudes.com is a website devoted to the appreciation of American Craft Beers and brewers. The two "dudes" behind the website live in the Chicago area, and would say that "creating and working on the site was a way to justify all this beer "activity" to our wives." Seriously though, we see this explosion of consumer interest in craft beers and breweries, mirroring our own growing involvement with beer. And, the website provides us with a way to intertwine our interest in the craft brewing world with our professional backgrounds of websites, internet, and social media. We'll admit to being a little Midwest centric, but that's just because we are lucky enough to live in one the of U.S. hotspots for craft breweries.
The website is primarily designed as a place where a user can log and review their various experiences with the thousands of American Craft Brews. It's a work in progress and it's been 'live' for less than a year.
We have a number of ideas on how to improve and expand the site, and are totally open to input. Hopefully, you'll witness the growth of the site over time. There's really no commercial aspect of the site, it's all about being huge fans of American Craft Beer. Prost!
Who are the Two Beer Dudes
Rich's 5 Defining Q&A's
Where did this interest in beer come from?
First generation German on mother's side is probably a good start. My recollections as a kid of family and friends gatherings were all about food and drink. And my father traveled a bit for his job, and passed along his habit of diving into the local cuisines and beers. I remember him hauling home cases of beer in the late 60's from a little old fashion brewery in Chippewa Falls, WI.
Favorite Beer Styles?
Still defining my fav's. First style I became aware of was Porters found on camping trips in Ontario, Canada during my college days. Then probably Oatmeal Stout from Samuel Smith, before craft brewing really got going in the mid -80's. Always had a taste for Vienna lagers, and really right through the whole Germany style catalogue. And, today it is hard to limit fav's to a short list, though Imperial IPA's really are fun. Plus, I can't forget some cool fruit beers coming out of the Midwest's access to local fruit harvest.
Where and How do you buy beer?
I'm lucky to live in a large metro area that has some great beers stores. Every couple of weeks I stop by one large store near my workplace and cruise the beer aisles. Doing research on the net's good to develop a target list, but great new brews are always emerging. Cool trend developing is the wide variety of seasonal and limited releases. I like the 22oz bombers for tasting sessions with a few friends. But, buying 3 - 4 six packs every couple weeks and saving a few really starts to build a virtual taste library. Buying excursions into nearby, but different distribution networks results in an expanded beer palate.
Beverage Industry Experience?
None. I did apply for a sales job at Stroh's in Detroit, right after I graduated from college. I'm still around, Stroh's isn't...so that worked out OK for me. My great Aunt and Uncle owned a bar for a number of years, and most big family gatherings were held there (the Club Chevelle in Warren, MI). And, I had a good friend who worked for a big Budweiser Distributor as a route driver/salesman, and I rode with him a couple of times. Currently I'm in a marketing job for a big consumer goods company.
Best Brewery Road Tour?
I have not done this tour yet, but it's on my short to-do list once I refine the route and have the time. Start at Three Floyd's - Munster, IN right across the Indiana state line from Chicago...then to The Livery - Benton Harbor, MI in SW Michigan's Harbor Country...then over to Bell's Eccentric Café - Kalamzoo, MI enough said, and final stop for the day at Founders - Grand Rapids, MI and overnight lodging (a very nice JW Marriott on the river). Next morning the blast up north to Traverse City, MI will take about 3-4 hours, but in town there's North Peak, Right Brain, AND Jolly Pumpkin...then up around the east side of Traverse Bay to Shorts Brewing - Bellaire, MI and overnight in the area (lot's of cool choices). Next day, follow the Lake Michigan coast back to Chicago, with optional stops at New Holland Brewing-Holland, MI and Round Barn Brewery - Baroda, MI.
Scot's 5 Defining Q&A's
Why do you homebrew?
I started it so that I could learn more about beer and the brewing process. I wanted to better understand how flavors, aromas, appearance, etc were imparted in the beers I was drinking. Hops, water, malt, and yeast all play a very important and distinct roll in manipulating the profile of the beer. There are also many other factors that play a part with a large part being chemistry of the main. I enjoy the entire process, especially learning about the brewing process. I have come a long way in a short period of time but there is so much more to learn.
Why American craft beer?
Very little is American these days. It seems that everything is going overseas. American craft beer is top notch with the artistry, style, and American ingenuity coming through. I relish the ability to talk to fellow home brewers or craft beer brewers about the process, taking chances, and the pride they take in what they do and produce. Every time a friend or family member mentions the fact that they have converted to craft beer and fancy the chance to share their new found hobby with friends, I get chills up and down my spine: the fever is spreading.
Favorite Beer Style(s)?
At one time this was such an easy question but time has complicated it for me, especially as my appreciation for American craft beer has developed. Once upon a time, the lighter the beer the better, yes, even macro. I quickly decided this beer style wasn't for me. Being a college student, I didn't have many funds, so I was stuck, with decreased consumption being the only obvious option. Summer time was bliss as I had cash from working, Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada were the beers of choice: still light, but not macros. As more and more craft beers came out, I was headed on a collusion course with big, bold stouts and the like. I have once again changed: I appreciate any American craft beer that has been tediously created. The time spent to get down a solid pilsner could be more difficult than a big stout, as a stout has the ability to hide flaws. Any which way you look at, I now look for solid beers in just about any style and appreciate them for what they are; this has allowed me to take my beer enjoyment to another level.