The inaugural SLO Beer Week is happening in San Luis Obispo on October 16 – 22, 2016. In honor of the upcoming beer festival, we were lucky enough to interview George Numair, Brew Master at BarrelHouse Brewing Co. Hear what George had to say about San Luis Obispo’s booming craft beer scene and what he’s most excited about for SLO Beer Week.
Meet George Numair, Brew Master at BarrelHouse Brewing Co.
Check out George Numair’s impressive biography in the beer industry!
- Graduate of UC Davis Master Brewers Program 2008
- Lab Tech Intern at Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Tx. 2008
- Brewer at Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, Ca. 2008 – 2010
- Sensory Analysis Program Director at Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, Ca. 2011
- Brew Master at Indian Well Brewing Co. in Inyokern, Ca. 2012
- Brewer at Figueroa Mountain Brewing in Buellton, Ca. 2012
- Cellarman at Kenneth Volk Vineyards in Santa Maria, Ca. 2012 – 2013
- Brew Master at BarrelHouse Brewing Co. in Paso Robles, Ca. 2013 – Present
What do you love about being a brewer in San Luis Obispo?
Well…the great beer, of course!
What makes San Luis Obispo a unique destination for craft beer?
It’s probably the fact that San Luis Obispo is really a destination for boutique wineries, stunning coastline and culinary delights. It’s often an unexpected bonus for those on vacation here. It’s the final piece of the puzzle for those who just have to have it all. No wonder they say San Luis Obispo is the happiest place on earth.
What makes BarrelHouse Brewing Co. unique compared to other craft breweries?
BarrelHouse is unique because it’s exactly what you want it to be; Good Times, Good People, Great Beer.
It’s not a façade built to make you think you’re going to have a good time; it’s the real deal. When you walk in here, you’ll see whole families having fun together, enjoying great music and playing in the expansive beer gardens. When that happens, the atmosphere builds upon itself, until there is not a single person in the place who doesn’t have a smile on their face…except Rustle who has to wash all of the pint glasses.
What is BarrelHouse Brewing Co.’s most popular beer? How about your favorite brew?
Our most popular beer is the Sunny Daze. It is a citrus blonde ale. It is bright, citrusy and refreshing.
My favorite beer on the other hand is our Rye IPA. The rye grain and Sorachi Ace hops along with the malty backbone make for a unique flavor that is hard for other IPA’s to contend with.
How do you decide on new beers to brew next?
We have a competition every year where all of the brewers pilot a new beer that gets debuted at our Anniversary Party. Customers can try samples for free and vote on their favorite one.
What is your favorite style of beer to brew and why?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I can definitely tell you what style of beer I have a love/hate relationship with: Rye Washes. We brew washes (a wash is what a distillery calls the beer they distill into your favorite whiskeys and bourbons) for local distilleries. A rye wash contains a lot of Beta-Glucans (a cellulose type material) which cause the grain to stick together in a gelatinous mess making it difficult for us to extract the sweet liquid from it. But the finished product is so delicious!
Describe the most unusual beer that you’ve ever brewed before.
A fruit and field beer with beets, carrots and apples. It was supposed to be like a v8 splash with alcohol. A serving of vegetables, hidden by a serving of fruit, hidden by a serving of alcohol. Not a bad idea…not a very good beer either. This was before coming to BarrelHouse…
What are you most excited about for SLO Beer Week 2016?
Definitely all of the collaboration brews that the different breweries in the county put together during this month. It is great to see what we can all come up with when we put our heads together to brew something new and exciting.
When you’re not brewing up a storm, where can we find you in San Luis Obispo?
Kayak fishing off of Shell Beach or Cayucos – It’s the only time I have to leave my cellphone behind. There’s no better way to get away from it all but still be close to home.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know.
When I watch the Winter Olympics, I watch curling.
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