That delicious, inspired beer you love to drink doesn’t ferment itself, my friend -- it takes a special skill set to brew such glorious liquid. But in addition to possessing the skills of a world class artist and brilliant scientist, we believe The Brewmaster must also be recognized as a philosopher of sorts.
For too long, bartenders have solely held the mantle of therapist and advice-giver. But after spending a ton of time around the wise people responsible for the beer in your pint glass, we’ve come to realize that they have plenty of life experience and knowledge to share as well. So we asked some of our favorite brewmasters from coast to coast to each provide us with a solid piece of life advice -- whether beer related or not -- that we can share with our readers.
Here’s what they told us.
Do what you love (and make friends with beer people)
“Being a Columbine survivor, from the time I was 18, I've always lived as if today is my last day. With that in mind, having a job I hated was never an option. No matter what it paid.
“And one more thing -- I've met some awesome people through beer and the thing I've discovered that beer people are good people; hang out with them. If you find someone who doesn't like beer, be suspicious!”
-- Zach Rissmiller, Resolute Brewing Co. (Centennial, CO)
Dive down that waterslide
“If I had to offer one piece of advice, it would be to chase your 'waterslides.’ Everyone seems to agree that chasing your dream tends to lead to a fulfilling life, but I think that the only way a person can really succeed is if they do something they’re passionate about. Long hours, hard days, tough times -- these are all surmountable situations as long as you enjoy what you are doing.
“At 3 Sheeps, we call these 'waterslides.' You can go after the fame, fortune, and the path that may seem easiest or safest, but that's no fun. Go after your dream, and you'll be amazed by how much better you can perform when you’re doing something you love.”
-- Grant Pauly, 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. (Sheboygan, WI)
credits:"[Jennifer C. / Flickr](https://www.flickr.com/photos/29638108@N06/9609772702)" align:center
Progress and persist
“In the homebrewing world, our founding father, the venerable Saint Charlie Papazian, was famous for (among other things) his slogan, ‘Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew!’
“Now, here’s where I get sacrilegious: Those words have helped me through many a brew day, but they’re not what helped me become the brewer I am today. I owe that to another slogan: ‘Never Settle.’ I’m not crazy enough to think I’ll ever achieve absolute brewing nirvana. Perfection is the greatest whale of them all in the beer world. But that doesn’t mean I’m ever going to turn my back on the chase.
“Brewing beer has really instilled in me the drive to persist when faced with any challenge (like brewing) or problem solving exercise (again, like brewing). Sure, Saint Charlie’s advice helps to keep things chill. But here’s the rub: you never know -- when it comes to brewing, as well as life -- when the tiniest tweak could lead to a big breakthrough.
“So let me amend my personal slogan: ‘Never settle for less than progress.’ It’s a nice compromise between ‘Relax, Don’t Worry’ and ‘Perfection or Bust.’ Cheers to progress!”
-- Brad Segall, Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply (Roseville, MN)
Acquire Jeffersonian luck
"There’s a lot of schlock out there: 'Follow your dreams.' 'Listen to your heart.’ You know, coffee mug crap. Most of the really good stuff, though, came from my dad. I can still remember what he said when I nervously told him I wanted to pursue a career in brewing beer instead of going to grad school. He said, 'I wish you Jeffersonian luck.' I gave him a blank stare, and he explained that Thomas Jefferson was a great believer in luck, but that Jefferson believed that the harder he worked, the more luck he would have. More of a parable, I guess, but I always took it as good advice.”
-- Andy Ingram, Four Peaks Brewing Co. (Tempe, AZ)
credits:"[David Fulmer / Flickr](https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveynin/15232363633)"
Use your gut...wisely
“Creativity can come in small and big packages. Never be afraid of trying something out -- regardless of what the impact might be. Then use your gut to point yourself in a general direction and build theories, but never forget to be pragmatic and try to refute yourself before jumping to conclusions of what the results could mean.”
-- Tim Matthews, Oskar Blues Brewery (Longmont, CO)
“Always ask ‘why not?’ That’s why we always experiment and explore with our brews and pairings.”
-- Brett Lawrence & Jeremy Mayo, Towne Park Brew Co. (Anaheim, CA)
credits:"[U.S. Army Research Laboratory / Flickr](https://www.flickr.com/photos/armyresearchlab/35489965493)"
Invest in your personal stock
“Take risks, but always fail forward and not backwards. Be humble and keep learning. Work harder and longer than anyone expects of you and your personal stock value will go up. But the trick is to not cash it in until it really matures.”
-- Derek “Doc” Osborne, Pedal Haus Brewery (Tempe, AZ)
Let the chips fall where they may
"Sometimes you can leave things to chance and believe in an unknown consequence. You never know what you may teach yourself.”
-- Ben Shirley, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA)
Note: Four Peaks Brewing Co. and 10 Barrel Brewing Co. are members of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch. Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply is owned by ZX Ventures, a division within Anheuser-Busch.