Beginnings, Introductions and Intentions


My name is Zach and I love beer. I’m not talking about the watery, straw-colored light beers that are staples in the diets of millions of tight budgeted college kids.  I’m talking about BEER.  The artfully crafted beverage that’s deep with history, full of complex flavors and aromas, and responsible for an international movement.

I am likely one of the biggest nerds you would ever have the pleasure of meeting.  I love many other things besides beer including Science, technology, comics, superheroes, dinosaurs, robots, Star Wars and astronauts! Thus, the origin of the name The Nerd Brews.

I began home brewing with my father and was instantly hooked.  Being the nerd that I am, I loved learning about the science of the enzymatic reactions of mashing and biological processes of fermentation. As I became more involved in the industry I was enchanted by the artistry and the cutting edge methods which brewers use to create new flavors and enhanced quality and experience.

These men and women are creating a new Renaissance (is that redundant?) and I am so grateful to have a front row seat to watch history unfold.

In the beginning there was a passion for good beer, an intrigue for the science of brewing.  Now this is paired with a love of the brewing culture and community.

One thing that I would like to be a large part of my blog is to profile local Minnesota brewers, brewery owners, beer enthusiasts, etc.  I will start with my own profile to help you get to know me.

Name: Zach

Hometown: Woodbury, MN

Brewing Experience: Home brewing, Intern at Castle Danger Brewery (Castle Danger, MN), Brewing Group Manager at Anheuser-Busch InBev in Van Nuys, CA

Current Beer of Choice: Badger Hill – Minnesota Special Bitter

Brewing Influences/Role Models: Ray Klimovitz (President at Klimovitz Brewing Consultants, Inc., former Technical Director of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas), Clint MacFarlane (Castle Danger Brewery), Joe Short (Short’s Brewing Company – Michigan), Charlie Papazian (Author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer festival, the American Homebrewers Association and the Association of Brewers)


Now I’d like to let you in on what mission is, and the journey that I’m about to invite you all to join me on.

I have taken a pledge (as of June 1, 2013) to spend a year drinking only beer that has been locally brewed here in Minnesota. Obviously I will be drinking other liquids like ya know….water (don’t worry MOM!).  For the next 365 days the only beer that will touch my lips will be brewed in the grand state which I call my home.


You may ask yourself: Why would someone do this?  What is the point?  With all of the beer available at liquor stores from around the globe, does MN beer really compare? I don’t like ever kind of beer, does MN even have anything that would suit my taste?

Well all of these things are things that I hope to explore in this blog.  But here is a general outline of why I am doing this:

–          I believe that it is important to support local businesses including but not limited to farmers, shop owners, independent restaurants and of course breweries.

–          I have become very close to the Minnesota brewing community, the professional brewers, the home brewers and the enthusiasts.  I want to promote what it is that these people stand for and have accomplished.

–          I love Minnesota beer! With new breweries surfacing all the time, I want to focus on exploring what it is that I love in my own backyard. Hopefully my pledge and this blog will help expose people in Minnesota (maybe even outside of Minnesota, Hey Wisconsin!) to what amazing beers the state has to offer and the people behind them.


Let me make a promise to you.  I am a simple beer lover. While I’ve had experience in the beer industry, I am no longer a brewer.  I am not an elitist, a beer snob, a beer know-it-all, or a beer authority.  I do NOT have a superior palate. I promise to completely honest and open with you (whoever you are) and myself during this experience.  I promise to maintain the point of view of a simple beer lover who wants to find out more about the beverage, the industry and the people.

Here are things that you will NOT find in this blog:

–          Beer ratings or rankings

–          Beer reviews or evaluations (beyond a simple description and background)

–          Beer BASHING (remember I worked for Budweiser….AND I DRANK IT!)

–          Elitist snobby lectures about flavor profiles, brewing techniques, beer defects, or the way I would have done it. Because honestly who cares

What I hope that you WILL find in this blog:

–          Interviews with local brewers, brewery owners, home brewers, your next door neighbor who likes to drink Summit, general beer enthusiasts

–          Brewer/brewery profiles and introductions to new and delicious beers

–          Beer and brewing news

–          Information and stories about local brewing events

–          Recipes/beer pairings

–          Pictures of me enjoying beer (who doesn’t want to see that?!)

–          General musings of an overly-excited beer lover

–          Random bits and pieces

I hope that I haven’t scared you away, and I am so glad you’ve stopped by for a visit.

If you’re willing and able, please leave me some comments! I would love to hear about beers you like, people you know who I should talk to, fun beer things you are doing or plan to do, whether or not you like my sunglasses or haircut, what you have to say about my posts.

Thanks for humoring me!



Follow me @TheNerdBrews on Twitter.



About the author

My name is Zach and I love beer. The artfully crafted beverage that’s deep with history, full of complex flavors and aromas, and responsible for an international movement. I can be found on twitter at @TheNerdBrews