Ask a Brewer: with Matt Pennington and Shawn Kessel 

  • Grand Junction's Shawn Kessel

We sent out some of our most pressing questions to Indiana's brewing community and let them advise us as they saw fit. We were happy to hear back from Shawn Kessel of Grand Junction Brewing Co and Matt Pennington of Union Brewing. Take it away, gents.

Question: Do you pour your milk in first and then your coffee, or coffee then milk/cream? Why?

Matt Pennington: I pour my milk in one cup and my coffee in another. Simply take a drink of one, hold it in your mouth, quickly take a drink the other, violently shake your head, and suddenly you're your own barista.

Shawn Kessel: Coffee first and forgo milk / cream. I like my coffee like I like my men! Black and strong!

Question: What is the easiest beer to make for first time homebrewers?

Kessel: I am a firm believer that all styles are easy. The best advice I can give is try the one you like the most and perfect that style. With that you will get a great beer but a better understanding of what goes into making it.

click to enlarge UNION'S MATT PENNINGTON
  • Union's Matt Pennington

Pennington: Something dark. Chances are, your first batch of homebrew isn't going to set the world on fire. But you give yourself a better chance by brewing a darker beer. With a light beer, there are so many places for "flaws" in the beer to shine through, while a darker beer will mask those off flavors a little easier. That said, brew what you want. That's the great thing about making your own beer: it's your own beer, and you can do anything you want to it.

Question: Who would you rather get drunk with: Civil War generals or Revolutionary War generals. Why?

Pennington: Definitely Revolutionary. Imagine the pranks you could pull with a group of sloshed guys with wooden teeth and powdered wigs. Wasn't tarring and feathering a thing back then? Because if so, I'd love to get in on that sweet action.

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