I raided the Instagram account of Jared Williamson for this photo from his recent visit to Germany.
Uwe Schulz, the brilliant brewmaster from Spalter Bier. Blending tradition and innovation in a fascinating way in a village that is ~1200 years old.
In an effort to keep this simple: I'm delighted at Jared's career path in brewing, honored to have played a small part in encouraging it, and thrilled that he was able to go to Germany for a taste of what has inspired me for so long.
This blog post catches us up with Jared's world at present. Click through to read the entire piece. You'll love it.
How Jared Williamson Found Love — and a Head Brewing Job — at Schlafly, by Cheryl Baehr (Riverfront Times Blog)
Sitting at the top of one of Munich's tallest buildings with a beer in hand, Jared Williamson of Schlafly (2100 Locust Street, 314-241-2337) can't help but look back with amazement at how he got here.
"I started working with beer about fifteen years ago, and I was introduced to Spaten early in my beer education," Williamson recalls. "And here I am at the source. It's a culmination, like I'm circling back to where it all began."
Williamson's job as head brewer at Schlafly has led him to Munich, where he is embarking on a tour of Germany's hop fields. But his beginnings were much more humble. A native of Indiana — the part of the state just outside of Louisville, Kentucky — Williamson was introduced to beer while working at New Albanian Brewing Company, an establishment that was the first in the area to add lesser-known brews to its taps. In the late 1990s, seeing beers like Spaten, Guinness and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was not all that common in the Midwest. The novelty, as well as the quality of these beers, piqued his interest.
Though his job was to work on the brewpub's guest tap and bottle program, Williamson could not keep himself from wandering into the brewery. He found himself drawn in to the beer-making side of the operation. "I'm a musician, so I was drawn to the creative aspect, but I'm also a science nerd. The combination of the two is what really appealed to me," Williamson explains. "Eventually, the original brewer left and they handed me and another guy the keys. The world was our oyster, and we got to make the best beer we could — and make some mistakes too."