22 May 2008

The Hoosier Beer Geek 6 Pack - Andrew Lewis, Brass Monkey Brewpub

The Hoosier Beer Geek 6 Pack is a feature where we run six 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.

Kokomo, Indiana is becoming another beer hotspot, and so with news that it's about to double its number of brewpubs - and just before their grand opening tomorrow (May 23rd, 4PM) - we've got a little more info from Andrew Lewis at Brass Monkey Brewing Co.

1) Who are you and where do you work?

Andrew Lewis, The Marketplace/Brass Monkey Brewpub

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

I think the main thing that got me going was just a huge appreciation for good beer. I started with a really basic kit I ordered online; I think it was supposed to be a Fat Tire clone. I made it in my kitchen and not only did it taste horrible, but half of the bottles exploded.

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

My brewing mission is to make unique beers that bring some serious flavor and are still enjoyable to drink. Making something unique is pretty easy to do, all you need is a crazy idea and some unusual ingredients, but that last part is where it gets complicated.

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?

I don't tend to look towards just one beer as a benchmark for a style, or I think at best I would just make a good copy of that beer. The first thing I do when coming up with a new recipe is to gather together as many examples of that style as possible. Then I try to pinpoint what it is that I like/dislike about each one. This gives me kind of a starting point for the direction that I want to go in.

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

The beer that I'm proudest of is the Green Tea Pale Ale. It's got a green tea base and a late kettle addition of grapefruit zest. It goes back to being not only a pretty original idea, but it's also very drinkable.

My favorite beer is Double Down Brown. It's just a very balanced beer with plenty of flavor, my idea of a session beer.

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

Bell's, Three Floyd's, Dogfish, Smuttynose, Founders, Hair of the Dog, New Belgium, Dark Horse, Brugge, Barley Island, and tons of others. I tend to be more loyal to certain styles other than specific breweries.

I'd love to be able to say I came up with Three Floyd's Behemoth or Founder's Kentucky Breakfast.

Anything you'd like to add?

Check out brassmonkeybrewing.com.


  1. I'm very interested in trying that Green Tea Pale Ale. Any plans to be at the Microbrewer's Festival in July?

  2. I also am interested in that Green Tea Pale Ale, among others I have seen listed. The Trippel fermented on apples and the cherry hefeweizen sound pretty intriguing. IPAs.. oh my. Yeah, I will have to make a trip up to Kokomo in the near future.

  3. Already planning on going up to Kokomo on Tuesday. Can't wait to try a bunch of these new brews!!!