So I heard you like to drink local craft beer? Well maybe it's time you meet a man who helps bring you those local beers that you love so...and he's been brewing with local ingredients since before it was cool (although Ben not being a hipster and all, he probably wouldn't put it that way). You've see his beer throughout Massachusetts (his brewery, Wormtown Brewery, will even be at the 2013 Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest in November!), including Be Hoppy IPA, MassHole Hefeweizen and so many more delicious options. But why is his beer so delicious? Maybe it's the use of local ingredients in every beer, as mentioned above. Or maybe it's the fact that he trained under Will Meyers, Brewmaster at the acclaimed Cambridge Brewing Company. Perhaps he's just gifted? Or could it be a blend of all of that and more? Luckily, I was able to get some of Ben's time and so, without further ado, I'll quit my conjecture and go straight to the man himself for these answers.
And remember, if Ben seems like a cool guy who you'd like nothing more than to meet, you can! Just grab your tickets to Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest in November and he'll be behind the Wormtown booth pouring brew.
Drink Craft Beer: How did you get into craft beer?
Ben Roesch: I started drinking craft beer in college at UMass Amherst [with] Berkshire Brewing and Paper City being on tap at local bars. From their it grew to trying different styles and, eventually, getting into homebrewing to try my hand at it.
DCB: What was the turning point (a beer or moment) that made you love craft beer?
BR: My own first recipe and homebrewing. I went out to a farm and got sap and syrup and then brewed a maple lager in my roommate's closet. It showed me that with attention to detail and inspiration I could make craft beer happen. That was also the first spark of using local ingredients that I have carried with me throughout my career.
DCB: You walk into a magical beer shop with every beer currently available. You can put together one six-pack. What do you walk out with? Only one beer can be from your brewery.
BR: Cambridge Brewing Heather Ale, Harpoon Saison Various, The Lost Abbey Red Poppy, Jack's Abby Fire in the Ham, Wormtown Buddha's Juice, and [North Coast] Old Rasputin XII
DCB: You have one night in your favorite beer city. What city are you in and where do you go (it doesn’t all have to be beer)?
BR: Portland, Oregon staying at McMenamin's Kennedy School, visiting Powell's Books, hitting numerous brewpubs and food trucks.
DCB: What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t in beer?
BR: Forestry- that was what my degree is in from UMass. I would not regret a day spent on the Quabbin Reservoir where I was just a few days away from accepting a job before I decided to accept my first head brewer job.
DCB: What do you drink when you’re not drinking craft beer (or beer at all)?
BR: Lots of coffee and water, occasionally kombucha, hard cider, bourbon, and whiskey.
DCB: Where do you see the craft beer industry going in the next year? And, in that vein, can we get a sneak peak at what new to expect from you in the coming year?
BR: More breweries opening, more consumer confusion about who and where the beer is actually being brewed, breweries that can't consistently make quality beer will eventually have to close. Wormtown will be canning beer in early 2014, working on an expansion and possible new location. And I'll be out sourcing more local and unique ingredients.
DCB: You can brew any beer you like, no matter the cost and consumer demand, what would you make and what dream ingredients would you use?
BR: Imperial stout brewed with all maple sap no water. Barrel aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels.
DCB: Thanks so much for your time, Ben! Looking forward to seeing Wormtown at Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest in November!