The best conversations happen over a couple of beers. I decided to continue my series of brewer interviews by sitting down with Carver Brewing Company’s Head Brewmaster Patrick Jose, who had some interesting points to share about the Bootlegger’s Society (comprised of all six breweries in town), Durango events, and his least favorite style of beer.
So, first of all, what is this tasty looking beer that you just poured for us?“This is the Spring Tonic Elixir. It is our annual Bootlegger’s brew for the repeal of Prohibition. It contains some flaked maize – corn, which was a really popular ingredient at the time. It was a cheap source of fermentable sugar. It’s got some good, classic American hops in it, and kind of a leftover sweetness from that corn, like Corn Pops. As far as I know, this is one of the oldest collaboration brews in the country. The Bootlegger’s Society has been doing this for a long time.”
In today’s tumultuous craft beer landscape, how important do you think it is for organizations like the Bootlegger’s Society to exist?“I think it’s incredibly important, I mean – I guess to preface this, we don’t do as many things as I think we would all like to do as far as the Bootleggers go. But, symbolically it’s important because we all have always been good friends in this town, particularly within the industry. The original four members of the Bootleggers is now six members, and those two newer members were originally members, so it’s like we’ve known each other long enough, and we’ve all worked together at one point or another. In our industry’s current climate, I think just holding on to those local ties, like we all work together for the same goal – yeah, we compete for seats at the bar but it’s Durango. It’s a tourist town. Everybody gets their share. I think we’ll all make great, world-class beer, and I think that if we didn’t, we’d call each other out on it, and that’s important: to be able to constructively criticize each other locally. The best policies and the best things start at a grass-roots local level.”
The sun is coming out and Durango will soon begin doing a lot of beer drinking outdoors. What events or festivals are you looking forward to the most in the coming months?“I guess I would have to start off with the Taste, primarily because that was the first big Durango festival that I attended when I moved here, and that was when I was with Steamworks. I was pouring beer and kinda looking up and down the street going, “Wow. Okay – so this is how it is.” The San Juan Brewfest is another favorite because it’s a really good excuse to bring in breweries from out of town that we know or may not know yet. The Brew Train is also a lot of fun. This year it’s in September. Durango – beer and trains, and that’s a chance to enjoy both of them together. What could be better?”
What’s one seasonal beer on tap here at Carver’s that you would suggest people give a try before it’s gone?“Right now – and this is one of our styles that we rotate in and out of throughout the year – the Pine River Double IPA. We use all Colorado malt and hops for that beer. The hops come from Pine River Hops in Bayfield and the malt comes from Alamosa. It’s dangerously easy to drink at 8 percent (ABV) and very well balanced.”
Lastly, what is your least favorite style of beer and why?“My least favorite style of beer is the one that you guys made up. You know what I mean? I saw a, like, Black IPA Kölsch. That is not a thing. You cannot call a beer a Black IPA and a Kölsch in the same name. Come on down, everybody! I’ve got some Russian Imperial Blonde Raspberry Rye Stout Wit. Those are my least favorite. Just because you either A.) messed up or B.) thought that was a good idea, doesn’t make it a thing.”
Sean Moriarty has been drinking craft beer since before he was legally allowed to. He managed and bartended at Steamworks Brewing Co. from 2007-2017 and currently manages their digital marketing.