Heretic Brewing recently started pouring their beers in the L.A. area and after meeting brewmaster Jamil Zainasheff at Ladyface Alehouse, he answered a few questions about his journey with craft beer.
Do you have any brewing mentors?
Yes, many folks (too many to mention) over the years provided me a great deal of advice and support. Much of what I learned about brewing and appreciating beer came from those folks. That is one of the main reasons why I try to also provide information to others. I’m just trying to pay forward the efforts of those before me.
What was the beer that opened your eyes to the craft brew scene?
It wasn’t a commercial beer. It was my neighbor Steve’s pale ale that he handed me over the fence one afternoon. That opened my eyes to homebrewing and craft beer all in one sip. Before that I didn’t know that beer could taste that great or that you could brew beer without a factory.
What aspect of the podcast has helped you the most with your brewing today?
The great questions we get from the listeners helps, but I think having to explain a lot of the fundamentals on the air has really helped me stay focused on what is important in producing great beer and not get sidetracked on the latest trendy brewing idea.
Do you still have time for homebrewing and if so what was your latest concoction?
Not lately. My small batch brewing is all pilot batches for Heretic.
What beer style do you think has been forgotten and is due for a comeback?
Perhaps amber lagers and amber hybrids. There was great interest in things like Altbier and Octoberfest in the past, but many folks seem to have moved away from those styles. I just checked the results for the latest national competition and sure enough, those numbers are down.