Interviewing brewmasters to help execute the Northern Maverick vision was one of the hardest experiences thus far. We were lucky and overwhelmed with talented applicants that have made remarkable and award-winning beers. Ultimately, we chose one of the most inspired individuals I have ever met. Andrew Crowder was a science nerd by education, a lab tech at first employ, and the Manager of Brewing Operations at Muskoka Brewery at the impossibly young age of 29. Andrew’s background as a scientist with an impressive knowledge of brewing brings a solid foundation for beer exploration and experimentation. The second time we met, we drank a popular King West bar out of craft beer and then switched to scotch. After a few drams of scotch the niceties disappeared in our conversation and I realized how exceptional this young man was. He spoke freely for the first time and I heard some of the most intelligent and inspirited views on craft beer in my life. I offered Andrew the job the most professional way I knew how, on a street corner at 2am.
We are excited to watch Andrew grow as a brewer and look forward to giving him every tool he needs to achieve his limitless potential. We share a passion for gateway beers and helping new drinkers find their way into craft beer. Conversely we are driven to explore beers with wild yeasts, sours, and barrel aged, and the malt forward beers that dominate our conversations these days. Discussions about long and spontaneous fermentation consume far too much of our time and likely make us look like super nerds to many a Toronto server who overhear our conversations. We might also have the first employment agreement ever to contain a bilateral coolship clause.
We have been piloting beer recipes for 6 months now in anticipation of opening. In addition to our Fake News Pale Ale we will be making a malt forward lager and Belgian table beers to round out our initial gateway offerings. No, we won’t be opening with a Helles or a Kolsch. Probably a business mistake, oops. We are in love with hefeweizen and have spent weeks arguing over optimal ferulic acid levels (see nerd confession from previous post) and we hope to get it right for you in time for our opening. We have a 20 HL fermenter dedicated to wild yeasts and funk. Our first brett beer will be a balanced farmhouse with half of the initial batch going into chardonnay barrels for 6 months. Yes, the wait is annoying. We love tart beers and will do our best to tame our old friend lactobacillus. We should have a dry-hopped sour ready for the first couple weeks of opening. Our first barrel aged beer will of Gosler origin and have been aged in tequila barrels with some fruit to prevent scurvy. We apologize in advance if barrel beers are not available day one, you have our word that we will try to build a barrel collection faster than Donkey Kong.
-Jason Kaptyn (Founder/Owner)