Interview: Kris Parker (Third Window Brewing)

Craft Beer Santa Barbara

Wine courses through his family's veins, but Kris Parker chose a different path. [Third Window Brewing]


JL: Who have you looked to for guidance, inspiration or advice in the craft beer world?

KP: Patrick Rue and Tyler King have been the most influential mentors / friends from the beer world. If there was a Vinnie Cilurzo poster I would probably have it on my wall. I’m a huge fan and believer in the business philosophy of Stone. My other influences are the winemakers I have worked for/with over most of my life and their lessons on beverage appreciation and terroir.

JL: What lessons can you apply to Third Window from the wine world?

KP: I think there’s room for the idea that every beer is a vintage. Dealing with fruit, cooperage, racking and blending are all transferable. We’re all using our palate to create things that we hope are delicious.

JL: What do you find distinctive about the Santa Barbara County brewing scene, and what differentiates Third Window within that world?

KP: I think a lot of breweries begin and spend time thinking about what their flagship beer will be and how it will be effectively marketed.

I don’t really think that way. (Which might be totally insane.) My perspective is that you should make the beer that you want to drink, focus entirely on process and beer quality and make beer for your friends. The flagships will find you… if they do.

JL: What are the criteria for beers that get brewed at Third Window?

KP: We make the beer that we want to drink. We’re heavily Belgian influenced and look to incorporate concepts of terroir into our beer whenever we can.

But mostly we make the beer that we want to drink.

JL: Which beer styles and specific beers do you enjoy drinking when you’re not drinking Third Window beers?

KP: Pivo at the brewery is ridiculous. Cuvee Jacobins is my late night beer of choice these days. (They carry it at a great dive bar in SB.) I’m a Russian River homer. My wife grew up in Santa Rosa so I purchase a couple cases every time we visit her family. (1 split case of Belgians, 1 case of Pliny.) There’s a little brewery in Carp called brewlab that only makes great interesting beer. I could go on and on.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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