Author: Paul McMorrow

Paul McMorrow is a writer living in Boston, Mass. Visit him at

Tyler Jones, Head Brewer, Black Hog Brewing Co. 9 Steps to Beerdom by

At Connecticut’s Black Hog Brewing Co., Tyler Jones brews creative twists on classic styles with experimental hops, farm-fresh produce, and adjuncts like ginger, sage, and rosemary.

Taylor Ziebarth, Founder and Brewmaster, Oddwood Ales 9 Steps to Beerdom by

As Taylor Ziebarth relaunches Oddwood Ales, originally a side label of the Austin brewery Adelbert’s, as a standalone business with its own brewery and taproom, distinctive microorganisms remain front and center.

Drew Fox of 18th Street Brewery 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Three years after opening in Gary, Ind., across the Indiana state line from Chicago, 18th Street Brewery has torched any skeptics with founder Drew Fox’s hard-charging, heavy metal brand of brewing.

Jeff Griffith of Fate Brewing Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Jeff Griffith, head brewer at Fate Brewing Company in Boulder, Colo., cranks out everything from classic Belgian and German styles to experimental IPAs, tequila barrel-aged sours, and coffee-infused hop bombs.

Ben Green of Southern Prohibition Brewing 9 Steps to Beerdom by

At Southern Prohibition in Hattiesburg, Miss., brewmaster Ben Green is helping to build a new beer culture, oriented around bold flavors in everything from hoppy ales to barrel-aged sours.

David Morgan of SingleSpeed Brewing 9 Steps to Beerdom by

SingleSpeed Brewing, the Cedar Falls, Iowa, nanobrewery Morgan founded in 2012, is on the brink of a major expansion, as SingleSpeed exits its nano-sized beta version for a state-of-the-art brewhouse opening late this year.

Cameron Read of Edmund’s Oast 9 Steps to Beerdom by

As Edmund Oast’s head brewer and beer buyer, Cameron Read scouts out the best beers in the world, while also concocting recipes that can stand alongside them.

Dennis R. Hock of Draai Laag Brewing Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

At Draai Laag’s brewhouse in western Pennsylvania, Dennis R. Hock embraces the wild critters floating through the air to create beers that could only come from Pittsburgh.

Larry Sidor of Crux Fermentation Project 9 Steps to Beerdom by

With 40-plus years in the Pacific Northwest beer industry, Larry Sidor struck out on his own, founding the new Bend, Ore., institution Crux Fermentation Project.

Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Since 1992, Brian Hunt’s little Santa Rosa brewery Moonlight Brewing Company has been churning out small batches of ales and lagers that are uniquely rooted in Northern California.

Paul and Abraham Lorrain of Funky Bow Beer Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

When the father-son duo opened up the Funky Bow Beer Company on a southern Maine farm, they turned it into a massive indoor-outdoor living room, replete with pets, bonfires and bluegrass music.

Dustin Jeffers of Saltwater Brewery 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Dustin Jeffers has lived South Florida’s brewing evolution. When he arrived as a transplant from the Northeast, his go-to beers were as likely to come from his own kitchen as they were from a local commercial outfit. In late 2013, he helped open Delray Beach’s Saltwater Brewery.

Trevor Williams of Hoof Hearted Brewing 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Trevor Williams co-founded Columbus, Ohio’s Hoof Hearted Brewing with a pair of college buddies, Jared and Ryan Bichon, in 2011. They crank out bold, aromatic beer that’s influenced by hops, hair metal and video game culture.

Dave Witham of Proclamation Ale Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Proclamation Ale Company’s origin story is simple: Dave Witham thought his beers were tasty, and his friends thought they were tasty, so he founded a brewery.

Jason Pellett of Orpheus Brewing 9 Steps to Beerdom by

At Orpheus Brewing Jason Pellett acts as an evangelist for beers that push drinkers’ palates, and helps carve out a local market for sour and funky flavors among more casual beer drinkers.

Ben Low of Baxter Brewing Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Ben Low chose a career in brewing as an alternative to a life as an academic specializing in classics. That one decision point resonates through Low’s approach to brewing at Baxter Brewing Company, the Lewiston, Maine-based beermaker where he serves as director of brewing operations.

Bailey Spaulding of Jackalope Brewing Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

A Harvard biological anthropology major turned law school grad, Bailey Spaulding and friend Robyn Virball assembled thousands of pounds of stainless steel equipment into a brewhouse. Jackalope has since become a cornerstone of Nashville’s burgeoning craft beer scene.

Troy Casey of Casey Brewing and Blending 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Troy Casey, the founder and brewer of Casey Brewing and Blending, operates out of a barrel room on the edge of the Colorado Rockies, from which he turns out limited quantities of Brettanomyces-spiked Saison and Belgian-inspired wild ale.

Aaren Simoncini of The Beer’d Brewing Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Aaren Simoncini launched the Beer’d Brewing Company as a vehicle for delivering fresh, creative, and locally brewed beers to his corner of southeastern Connecticut. Exponential growth has led to Beer’d growing deeper, not wider.

Jonathan Buford of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Jonathan Buford launched Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company as a strictly local venture. He wanted to help advance Arizona’s beer-drinking culture, and give Phoenix-area craft enthusiasts something to call their own.

Nick VanCourt of Ore Dock Brewing Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Nick VanCourt brews beer in Michigan, which means his peers are some of the best the US has to offer. He’s stood out by keeping his beers grounded in a sensibility that’s more European than brawling American.

Nathan Zeender of Right Proper Brewing Company 9 Steps to Beerdom by

As a homebrewer, Nathan Zeender made his bones propagating the dregs of wild and sour beers he enjoyed, aged batches in wine and spirit barrels, and blended the results. Right Proper, the DC brewpub Zeender helped launch, is also far outside the brewing mainstream.

900 Steps to Beerdom 9 Steps to Beerdom by

Over the past eight years the setup of this column hasn’t changed much: Why beer? Why brewing? Why do you do what you do? But the common theme, from Oregon to Kansas to the Carolinas, is the way that a passion for beer builds and rolls forward on its own momentum.

Jim Matt of Rhinegeist Brewery 9 Steps to Beerdom by

The Rhinegeist Brewery was founded by Bob Bonder, the owner of a local coffee shop, and Bryant Goulding, a brewing industry sales and marketing veteran. To put recipes to their vision, they turned to Jim Matt, a longtime homebrewer who was brewing professionally only because his day job as a chemist had ended.

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