Goose Island Beer Co. Q&A

This Q&A is brought to you by the Art Of Beer Invitational, celebrating stories through beer-inspired art accompanied by delectable food and great company. 

Migration Week is a 32-city tour by Goose Island Beer Co. that began in Miami in March and has finally made its way west for the winter, including stops at Sacramento's own Capitol Beer & Tap and Samuel Horne's Tavern. Beers In Sac talked with Tim Faith, Brewer of Goose Island Beer Co. about their beer trip out West! Here's what he had to say in the Q&A. 
Q - How did you get into brewing?

A - There are are three parts to this story: How I got into homebrewing, and when/how I decided I wanted to brew beer professionally, and how I did. 

   1) I started Homebrewing the Summer going into Junior year of college, I was training for cross-country, hitting upwards of 100 miles/week. I then got injured. Realizing I didn’t have much in the way of hobbies aside from running, I found I was pretty boring. A fellow teammate of mine had started to dabble in it, and I thought it was a pretty cool hobby. I picked up an Ice-mountain water jug, a 2.5 gallon pot and a spatula and began brewing beer. 

   2) I was pre-med in college, and was on a medical internship in Australia. Prior to leaving, my parents gave a small booklet from pier1, it was a beer journal. I made it my primary goal while over there to try every beer I could find. Upon coming back to the US, I switched majors to Microbiology (an easy transition) and decided I wanted to make beer. 

   3) My senior year, I designed an internship to study the yeast from a local microbrewer (Great River Brewery, Davenport, IA). I took samples, looked at their unique morphologies, plated and propped up the yeast from single cells to 20 bbl pitches, and looked at different methods of preservation and the effects on viability. The other half of the time, they taught me to cellar and brew. Following graduation, they gave me a job.
Q - What does the process of developing a new recipe typically look like? How many iterations does it usually take to get it the way you want?

A - I like to start with a story, or something meaningful. Typically it begins with something influential, or even a conversation over beers. From there you examine the basics of what you want – the color, the bitterness, yeast, etc. 
Q - Does the beer take a different technique to produce the desired flavors? Aging time? 

Goose does take each of it’s beers through a few trials, but sometimes you can get it spot on at the first try. That feels good.
Q - How do you make The Muddy so delicious?

A - The Muddy is a monster! It takes Licorice, Candi sugar and Lactose to preserve some residual sweetness and flavor at the back end.
Q - What keeps you motivated and inspired?

A - Creativity and innovation…and the Challenge. But ultimately seeing the faces of people as they try my beers.
Q - What do you feel has set Goose Island apart from other breweries?

A - Well, again, the number of innovation beers we are able to do is phenomenal. Our sour capacity is limitless, so the opportunity for all our brewers to learn how each individual beer is made and more importantly WHY and how certain techniques effects end product. We no longer have to brew on a 24/7 scale, freeing up the brewhouse to focus on brewing Bourbon County at least twice a week, and the freedom of creativity for each of our brewers.
Q - How was your visit in Sacramento? Have you been here before?

A - It was actually my first time out West. And to California. I had a great time. I love the uniqueness of each of the bars and breweries we visited. I did get a chance to explore some running trails there, so that too was great!

For more information visit Goose Island Beer Co., and to stay up to date on craft beer events in Sacramento, download the free Beers In Sac App.