Steve Hindy, Kim Jordan & Charlie Papazian Live from the NYPL
This past Friday I had the pleasure to see Steve Hindy, Co-Founder, Chairman & President of The Brooklyn Brewery, Kim Jordan CEO & Co-Founder of New Belgium Brewing Company and Charlie Papazian, author of The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing talk at the New York Public Library. Our good friend Aisha Ahmad-Post organized this event (along with many others) and she did a great job with an excellent choice of speakers. All three speakers were engaging and interesting. Introduced by Michael Kiser (Good Beer Hunting) and moderated by Paul Holdengräber, the conversation moved quickly and was filled with information. I found out later that the less Paul knows about a particular subject the better the conversation can be. He admitted several times during the event that there was a lot about craft beer that he did not know. A lot of the conversation revolved around Steve's new book The Craft Beer Revolution: How a Band of Microbrewers Is Transforming the World's Favorite Drink, what the current definition of a craft brewery is (under 6 million barrels per year, with a barrel being 31 gallons) and where craft brewing is going. Charlie is president of the Brewer's Association and Steve and Kim are on the board. The purpose of the Brewer's association is to promote and protect American craft brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts, along with deciding what constitutes a true craft brewery. Charlie is also one of the founders of the American Homebrewer's association, which is a division of the Brewer's association. On a side note, if you are not a member of the AHA, you should be. They work with legislators to make sure homebrewing and homebrewing events are legal plus they organize events and contests and the National Homebrew Conference. On top of that you get their excellent magazine Zymurgy, plus 5% off at Bitter & Esters! All three were fun and interesting but my favorite was Kim Jordan. There was something about her that was compelling. She is one of the only female brewery owners and she was witty, smart and intriguing. Her story and how she runs her brewery is inspiring. Earlier in the day we got an email from Aisha saying they wanted some beer for the event for the panel to try and she needed advice. We gave her some ideas of what to get, but it turned out that we had a pale ale brewed by Dick Cantwell, owner of Elysian brewery in Seattle. Dick brewed it at our store as part of our Brew like a Pro series using experimental hops hbc366. I thought serving that beer would be a cool idea since Dick is Kim's boyfriend! Having them try our beer on stage was very exciting. During the question and answer I got up and asked if any of them still homebrewed. Charlie's hand went right up (Kim and Steve don't homebrew anymore, understandably). Charlie then asked the audience who homebrewed and at least half of the audience raised their hands. It was heart warming. If you want to listen to the whole thing you can find it right here. The best part of it for me was meeting all three of them afterwards. Kim was gracious and we spoke for a bit, I congratulated her on starting construction on New Belgium's new brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. Look for New Belgium beers in NYC soon, hopefully. Meeting Charlie was a real treat as it was his book The Complete Joy of Homebrewing that I bought in 1992 that got me started on this exciting ride. I told him if it wasn't for that book I wouldn't own a homebrew store. He just smiled. I invited him to come visit us but he was leaving the next day. It was thrilling to meet him and get him to sign my original copy of his book. Overall an awesome evening. They have these live from the NYPL quite often, I am personally looking forward to John Waters on June 4th.