10 November 2010

Hoosier Beer Geek Six Pack Interview Special Edition: Ted Miller on Broad Ripple Brewpub

It's an amazing fact: there have only been four brewers in the twenty year history of Broad Ripple Brewpub. Ted Miller, Brewing Business Unit Leader for Brugge Brasserie - Indiana Region, was Broad Ripple Brewpub's third brewmaster. As we approach BRBP's 20th Anniversary Party on Sunday, we are happy to present a six pack interview with him.

1.) During what time period were you at BRBP and what positions did you hold?

From their opening through 1994. I served as waiter, bartender, and, eventually, brewer.

2.) Prior to BRBP, what sort of jobs did you do? What brought you to BRBP?

I was a collegiate soccer goalkeeper. I was drawn to BRBP by the heavens...

3.) What did you do/where did you go after BRBP? How did your time at BRBP affect your career path/choices?

I ended up in Seattle with Thomas Kemper where I was recruited to go to Hong Kong. The rest is history.

Working at BRBP had everything to do with who I am today. I had no idea walking into that place 20 years ago that I would make a career out of this stuff. When I became friends with Gil, I thought "this guy is a genius. He's made a career out of making beer."

4.) Tell us about the challenges of a new brewpub specializing in English beers blazing the craft beer trail in Indiana.

I really didn't know shit about beer when I started there. I knew I was very fond of it and I knew that there was this magical beer factory on the other side of the glass. In retrospect, it made perfect sense. At the time, all of the decent beer at the pubs were all English. Bass, Newcastle, etc.. It was a sellable model. Apparenty it has worked out quite well.

5.) What are your favorite things about BRBP, past and present, when it came to beer, food, people, etc.?

Family / beer / nutburger with Swiss and mushrooms / scotch eggs / the chance of a lifetime

6.) I know that you have John Hill stories. Please share one. Or two. Or ten.

Before I tell stories, I think it would be appropriate to use this forum to thank John Hill. John is responsible for making me who I am to an extent. I grew up without a father and he has been very much a father figure to me and I owe him a lifetime of gratitude for giving me some much needed guidance as a young adult. He also gave me an opportunity to become the brewer that I am and for that I am also eternally grateful. Thank you a thousand times Lord Hill. I don't know where I would be were it not for your crazy ass, hair-brained idea to open a brewpub in the early 90's in Indiana.

So, this dude shows up at BRBP in 1993 or so to kick my ass because I had apparently taken his girlfriend home. He was larger and meaner than me. As I'm trying to talk my way out of it - and it's not working at all - John comes out of the brewery dressed in the most hilarious bright yellow waterproof overall things (his keg washing gear) and tackles the guy. Then I start getting all lippy. John didn't like that. "You shut your mouth. I'm out here defending you because you disrespected somebody else. Go wash kegs!" Yes sir.

Myself, Kevin, Jenny Cotter and John are at GABF 92 or so. Having fun and all behind the booth somebody says something that a valley girl would have replied "gag me with a spoon" John Hill says "swipe me with a fork" thinking this was the hip vernacular. We all peed our pants laughing.

There are more, but more appropriately told with a pint and friends.

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