17 September 2007

The Hoosier Beer Geek 6 Pack - Greg Emig, President/Brewmaster at Lafayette Brewing Co.

The Hoosier Beer Geek 6 Pack is a feature where we run six (hopefully) quick questions by the folks behind the scenes at breweries to get a little more insight into what they do and like and how they got their start. The Knights of the Beer Roundtable would like to thank our third guest, Greg Emig from Lafayette Brewing Co.

1) Who are you and where do you work?

Greg Emig- President/Brewmaster at Lafayette Brewing Co.

2) What inspired you to start brewing beer? How did you get your start?

While working at the Knickerbocker Saloon here in Lafayette in the late '80s, I met a bunch of regulars who were in to homebrewing. Sampling their homebrews and listening to their tales of attending some of the early GABFs sent me down the road to brewing my own beer. A move to Lawrence, KS, and months spent quaffing pints at the newly-opened Free State Brewing in 1989 convinced me that beer was my life. A job brewing at Broad Ripple in the early days cemented that path.

3) What's your brewing mission? What are you trying to accomplish with your beer?

To make good beer, period. Nobody "accomplishes" anything with beer- it's just a pleasant part of life.

4) Was there a beer that you benchmarked your own against? How did you know your beer was good enough to take to the general public?

There were certainly breweries whose excellent products provided a benchmark in quality that I wanted to attain. I think early on I looked at The Free State in Lawrence, KS; Phantom Canyon in Colorado Springs, CO; Full Sail in Hood River, OR; and, of course, Broad Ripple, as brewers who set a fine standard in terms of quality.

5) What beer are you proudest of? Which of your beers is your personal favorite? Why?

I'm proud of all the products we produce, but our Tippecanoe Common Ale is my baby. It's a beer that I spent so much time thinking about after the initial release of the Amarillo hop variety that I could taste the beer before we actually produced our first batch in May of 2001. It's also grown to be our best seller and is the first beer we released when we started our bottling operation.

6) Which beers outside of your own do you enjoy? What beer do you wish you came up with? Why?

There are so many great beers being produced in the states that it's really hard to single out just a few. I lean towards the hoppier, IPA-ish type beers. If I'm not drinking an LBC product, I tend to go with mainly Midwestern brews that are readily accessible to us here in Indiana, ie. Bell's Two Hearted, Goose Island IPA, Three Floyds Alpha King. Of course, nothing beats visiting the breweries themselves and enjoying the beers on premise.

Hoosier Beer Geek wishes to thank Greg for taking the time to answer our questions, and for his dedication to good beer.


  1. (This doesn't relate to this post, but...)

    Has anybody tried the Chatham Tap on Mass Ave yet? I heard they have a dozen beers on tap but I'm curious if they've got anything exotic. My brother is in town tonight and I'm thinking about taking a gamble and trying it out.

  2. Chatap (we've even got our own abbreviated name for it) is on our calendar for October 11th - which reminds me that I need to update the calendar.

  3. A portion of their taplist is up on indianabeer.com in the news section. I have heard the food is really good by some friends. I guy who partly owns the place is the old manager of Old Point.

  4. Thanks for the tip Matt. The listed selection isn't exactly my cup o' tea, so I'm holding out hope for the unlisted taps and the bottle selection. I see a Bell's mirror behind the bar, so I have high hopes.

  5. I've been to the Chatap twice now, but not sampled the beer yet (I know, that's heresy). Nice place. The food is good and the beer list is heavy on UK beers. They have 10 to 12 taps (if I remember correctly). Bottled beer list is decent. They have some Bell's stuff, Alpha King, and a smattering of other microbrews. It's definitely worth a visit. And Mike, they are soccer friendly, though they have only Fox Soccer Channel.

  6. hey beergeeks,
    Deano's didn't have enough beergeeks on Sat. night. They have Spaten Oktoberfest, Bells Oktoberfest and Upland Ocktoberfest on tap right now. Sounds like a great Hoosier Beergeek review!

  7. We did hit up Chatham Tap on Tuesday. Nice place. Good, if not great food. It'll be even better once the patio is open in back and the downstairs is open.

    The beer selection definitely isn't in my wheel-house -- particularly on tap -- but as Jim noted, there's a good, though small, selection of US microbrew bottles. They have local Barley Island Dirty Helen on tap, but am I the only one that doesn't think much of Barley Island's beers?

    As for the rest of the taps, I can only take wimpy, UK beer so long before I want something to throttle my tastebuds! I tried the Hobgoblin and then switched over to Two Hearted Ale. I'm such a US hophead beer drinker -- UK beer is too "proper" for me.