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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Meet Greg Nash: Brewer - Pump House, NB

Meet Greg Nash, brewer with the Pump House Brewing Co., and a self confessed hop addict. I first met Nash back in 2007 when he made the 1800km drive from Halifax to Vaughn to accept the Beer of the Year Award at the Canadian Brewing Awards for his creation of Garrison Imperial Pale Ale. He is a great guy to sit and have a beer (or two) with as he has some great brewing stories and his enthusiasm for his job is infectious. After brewing with Garrison, Nash headed back to Pump House where he has had the opportunity to play around with recipes, creating new beers, something curious beer drinkers are all to happy to see.

Ladies and Gentlemen - Greg Nash.

What beer is in your hand right now?
Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA, wait that one's gone - on to an amped up Pump House IPA.

How did you get into brewing and what training do you have?
I started homebrewing in an attempt to make something I couldn't buy, or at least fresher than I could buy. I attended the American Brewers Guild in California and graduated in '96.

When did you realize that being a brewer would be your profession?
After a few years of hardcore homebrewing. By the early '90's I realized my love of the hobby should be pursued and turned into something more lucrative. Now I realize I've ruined the worlds best hobby.

What is the best part of being a brewmaster?
Free beer of course! Seriously, the never ending learning curve, love for the product and camaraderie within the industry.

What has been the craziest beer you've ever brewed?
Tough question, I have fond memories of a few "special" brews but I'm going to go with Pump House Dementia Double IPA. Whenever people asked what I thought of it my reply was always the same, 'I'm not sure yet, my mouth is still in shock and awe'.

Of all the beers you've brewed during your career, which one are you most proud of?
Dementia Double IPA.

While you brewed at Garrison, you developed the Imperial Pale Ale that won the 2007 Beer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards when it was relatively new. Proud moment?
Of course :)

Every time we talk it sounds like you're having a blast brewing with Pump House. How much are you enjoying your second stint with the brewery?
I'm having a great time here tightening things down at the micro and letting loose down at the brewpub. Honestly though the craft brewing industry is always a ton of fun.

Tell us about some of the new beers you've brewed in the last year?
Often it's a collaboration between myself and Glen Kervin, the regular brewer at the pub, it's teamwork all the way for us and Glen is doing a fantastic job with great attention to detail. Here's some of our most recent beers:

IRA - dry-hopped India Red Ale

Hop Mess - wet-hopped Imperial Red Harvest Ale brewed with over 50kg's of freshly picked local hops

Anise Brown Ale - brown ale pounded hard with star anise in the boil

Dementia Double IPA - IIPA on steroids

IPA - we halted production on our IPA in August '08 then released
the new reformulated amped up version a couple months later

Baltic Storm - Baltic Porter brewed with peated malt

Maltitude - Russian Imperial Stout infused with with locally roasted espresso beans, demerara sugar and rauch malt

Schwarzbier - classic German Schwarzbier

Raspberry Weizen - not so classic hefe-weizen with a 200lb raspberry twist

Cacao Brown Ale - Brown ale on cacao beans

SOB - Special Old Bitter reformulated with tons of west coast hops to be released very soon in 6-packs - unfiltered
I think it's safe to say that you're a hop freak. Where does your thirst for hop bombs come from?
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co did it to me in the '80's, my thirst for hops seems to have grown steadily since then.

What are the benefits of brewing beer in a brewpub?
Brewpubs are great for experimental brewing and honing in on the mainstay beer process, and the instant customer feedback is the best.

How do you think the beer produced on the East Coast (of Canada) compares to brews from other provinces?
We have some fantastic beer being produced here on the East Coast, it wasn't always that way but I think most of the other provinces are growing along with us. Phenomenal beers are coming from all over the country now, it's so good to see the craft brewing industry in Canada come into it's own. I think we're just starting to come out of the closet and can't wait to see what the future holds.

Nash as we know him.

5 comments:

Nickm said...

Greg is the man. I'd only wished I had worked with him longer.

Troy Burtch said...

Nickm - Greg is the man.

Cath said...

...The man with the plan

Andy McEachern, Moncton NB said...

That's classic. Nash the rebel, love your beers. Good read.

Troy Burtch said...

Nash is no longer with Pump House. He is the brewery with the Hart & Thistle Brewpub in Halifax.

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