Brewer Interview

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR THE BREWMASTER

Interview conducted by Jack Horne

Jose Armenta – Lead Brewer  Skeeta Hawk Brewing
2606 St. Louis Street, New Orleans
https://skeetahawkbrewing.com/

  1. How did you start brewing?
    In the US you have to be 21 to buy beer but only 18 to buy brewing equipment.  I was really left with no choice.

2. How did you get into commercial brewing?
I wanted to take a break from my career in public policy and explore fermentation science more in depth. Commercial brewing can really take some of those experiments that almost worked and really define the aspects that create consistently high quality liquid. I think I am a product of my time as the IBU wars were tapering off and I have always had access to high quality beer in the Los Angeles/San Diego area. At the time people wanted to shift into new styles and redefine the craft beer world.

3. Which style(s) are you most interested in brewing and why?
The lagering tanks in Skeeta Hawk are of great interest to really pin down some very minimal ingredient lager recipes. Craft maltsters and yeast propagators are producing endless combinations onto the market currently that make approaches fascinating.

4. What is the most challenging aspect of being a commercial brewer?
 Finding your place in the market with price changing all the time is tough. Always wanting to make the right decision for quality but some are not possible ie. hop selection. Even if you find a hop and lot you like it, a large brewery might like it too and buy out the farm. Thinking about losing some terroir but gaining consistency with products like hop oils and extracts makes more sense sometimes.

5. What advice do you have for homebrewers?
Purge. Purge. Purge. One of the biggest jumps in quality for any beer at any scale is reducing that dissolved oxygen. Equipment is only worth its ability to seal. Low DO is the way to go.

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