Meet the Brewer – Evan Rouse from Braxton Brewing Company on Vimeo.
Throughout the week we have been introducing you to the individuals helping brew Braxton’s beer. Each day, we have introduced one team member and prompted them with the same discussion topics. We hope you enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at our team!
Today, we introduce Evan Rouse who calls himself “Co-Founder and Head Brewer…and night Janitor, avid coffee (and coffee-beer) drinker, recovering vegetarian, want-to-be excavator operator, soon-to-be helicopter pilot, certified hose handler.”
Braxton kind of chose me. This is my dream come true since I started off brewing in my garage with my father. From that day forward I always looked forward to brew days. I was lucky enough to get a job at Hofbrauhaus in Newport, KY. I worked there for 2 years, before resigning and putting my full focus into Braxton Brewing Company. The culture that we are developing, the team that we have built, the system we have designed, and the friendships that have been made are the things that keep me going. Braxton is a perfect fit for the Greater Cincinnati brewing community and is unlike any other brewery open – I mean hell, we are building the brewery of your dreams in the heart of the new Midwest.
When did you fall in love with craft beer?
This also dates back to home brewing. I was very aware of the different styles of beer out there, but had never dived in. My dad used to drink Bass when he wanted to mix it up – this was actually the first style we tried brewing. Once open to trying new things, we dove right in with exploring new styles and figuring out what could be for us. Since then, it has been an ongoing, non-stop journey.
What’s your previous experience?
Homebrewer for going on 7 years now, BJCP certified judge preparing to take the National Level written exam, and just over 2 years of Hofbrauhaus, Newport as the assistant brewmaster.
What’s your favorite style of craft beer?
This is a tough one as I drink all styles. I truly believe there is a beer for every occasion, but if I had to narrow it down, I am a big fan of American Wheat beers as well as a nice Bohemian style pils.
What is your favorite craft beer?
Too many to list – CBS, King Henry are in my top 5. But if I had to be stuck on an island with only one beer, it would have to be Gumballhead. A crisp, clean, refreshing hoppy wheat.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” – Frank Zappa
What are some of your hobbies other than brewing?
I am a very hands on person, I enjoy building and tinkering with things on all levels. Shooting, and fishing, as well as a little wood whittling. I love power tools, and am currently acting as a General Contractor for Braxton’s Construction. With that, I have a new love for industrial construction equipment. All the different levers, motions, functions, etc. They are all really fun.
Editor’s Note: Evan, we’re going to need the fork lift keys back…
What part of Braxton are you most looking forward to?
The team behind Braxton and I have been working at this for over a year now. It has been a wild ride. Currently, I am most looking forward to getting our equipment in, installing it, firing it up, and brewing our first batch. After that, it would have to be working day-by-day with amazing, talented people, and learning as much as I can from all of those around me.
Do you have a fun fact or story you could share with everyone?
I am not an electrical engineer. How do I know I am not an electrical engineer? Just ask one of my best friends, Pat Connelly. I have studied engineering for my major and love it — but that was mechanical engineering — not electrical. I love tinkering, am hands on, and think I can do (a lot) more than I honestly can. I built my homebrewing system, that is soon to be a small half-barrel test batching system for Braxton. This system, is a PID controlled, semi-automated system, with temperature control and timers. It is beautiful (although, I may be biased). In my effort to build this, electrical wiring (which I wanted to and thought I could take on) did not go so well. To save costs, I purchased the largest spool of wire for all of my wiring and it was all black. So by the end of wiring, you had about 450 small wire runs in a tiny 12x18x10 box. Plug it in, fire it up, nothing worked – and you couldn’t follow a single wire to figure out where it went or what it did — they were all the same color. Needless to say, Pat’s was done correctly and had an electrical engineer approve it — Pat redid mine and I was brewing the following week — although we all agreed it was a nice effort.
Did you meet our other brewers from earlier in the week?
- Get to Know: Conan Crofoot, Brewer/Cellarman
- Get to Know: Mike Roszkowski, The Hop Whisperer (Recipe Development & QC)
- Get to Know: Dave Dixon, The Godfather (Recipe Development & QC)
Coming on Friday:
- Get to Know: Richard Dube, Brewmaster & Co-Founder