One thing I believe is often overlooked is how diverse our local brewers really are. The mid-Atlantic has a great balance of traditional brewers as well as some that are a bit more experimental. Innovation is great but balance is better.  The idea for our next set of interviews was to ask a handful of brewers from unique brewing backgrounds the same series of questions and see how their responses represent their own niche.  For the next six Fridays, we will be presenting a new question every week with responses from all six of our chosen brewers.

What brewing tradition is something that you feel is critical that we not lose sight of in our current trend of constant innovation?

Favio Garcia of Lost Rhino – The art of lagering.

Bill Madden of Mad Fox – None, constant evolution of innovation should prevail but what seems to happen is that previous traditions come back again and again..  Take the style of  porter which practically disappeared in  the UK and it took the American Craft Beer industry to bring it back.  What is old is new again.

Jonathan Reeves of Port City Brewing – Beer seems to have an inferiority complex these days. It wants to be extreme, or it wants to be a delicacy. It’s beer, it’s to be enjoyed as a refreshment or as a staple with a meal. Sure there are some big beers and I like to make them, but I haven’t lost sight of the concept of making a balanced sessionable beer for daily consumption.


Ernie Igot of Heavy Seas – I would say the Imperial Stout…maybe because this is one of my favorites.

Matt Brophy of Flying Dog – Tradition itself. Traditional world beer styles is what interested me in brewing years ago. I think innovation and brewing beyond style guidelines is great but I would hate to lose sight in the future of the past.

Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal AlesI think innovation itself at times is often quite over looked.. Following trends is not innovating.

This interview is a part of the six part interview series Six Brewers/Six Questions. Be sure to check out the rest of the series here.