New Assistant Brewer Adam Kruglick
Interview with Adam Kruglick, Assistant Brewer
This interview was conducted on August 8, 2018, a month after Adam first started at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. He's come a long way since, earning the title of assistant brewer. In light of his progress, we're publishing this transcript of the interview.
What's your name?
Adam Kruglick [spelling his last name]
Thanks for that. Where are you from?
Originally Flagstaff, Arizona. I grew up in Sedona and then lived in Flagstaff most of my life.
What brought you to the SF Bay Area?
Basically it was about furthering my career as a brewer. I've been here about four years and [San Francisco] was the only big city I ever wanted to live in. I had some opportunities with some friends to move out here and, yeah, it's been about four years now. [Half Moon Bay Brewing Company] will be my third brewery in the bay.
Nice! So, you live in San Francisco?
That's pretty close.
Yeah, it's nice because I can ride my bike to work.
[The ride from Pacifica to HMB Brewco is more than ten miles.]
Have you ridden your bike to work yet?
The first three weeks I worked here, actually, I rode every day. My truck was broken down, but I like to ride so...
Oh, that makes sense. Have you ridden over Old San Pedro Mountain Road?
Oh yeah, well I ride a road bike, so no, I stick to the roads.
What got you into brewing?
I started out home brewing. At that time I was a mechanic at a really large factory, nothing to do with brewing but I enjoyed working in a factory setting. I worked for the world's largest ice cream cone factory, actually, so just cones, no ice cream. So it's a huge baking facility, Dairy Queen, McDonald's, pretty much every generic cone you've ever bought that wasn't hand made.
So they all come out of Arizona?
Yeah, and Pennsylvania.
I don't know much about cones, but I can say that some cones I've bought are a lot stronger than others...
Yeah, we had to put cones through tests all the time, actually rating their breaking points and all that kind of stuff.
Yeah, so I got into food manufacturing and I realized that, as I started really getting better at home brewing, I said "I want to work for a brewery." It would be an easy transition. So I started brewing for a brewery called Ska Brewing in Colorado. After that it was Speakeasy, 21st Amendment, and then here.
That worked out pretty well with you being in Pacifica.
Yeah. It's perfect.
What's your favorite style of beer?
Ummm...That's a hard question.
I would say, IPAs and light lagers.
Nice! Yeah, I think light lagers are underrated. I was in St. Louis recently and I stopped at a brewery called Trailhead Brewing Company. They've been around since 1995 actually which I thought was cool.
Yeah. That's a long time.
Their seasonal specialty at that time was an American lager and they're so close to the Budweiser plant that I had to try it. They killed it. It was amazing.
Yeah. You can't go wrong with a good light lager. I think it's one of those things that really shows how good a brewer is; if they can do a really great light lager, odds are the rest of their stuff is good. [A good light lager] is honestly one of the hardest things to make because you don't have any flavors to hide behind. If there's anything wrong with it, you're going to taste that. Like with an IPA, you can get away with so much. You're going to taste hops. If it's a little buttery, a little diacetyl or has some weird flavors like that, it's harder to pick up. With a light lager, there's nothing to hide behind.
This one's tough. What's the all-time best beer you've ever tried?
[A long, thoughtful pause.]
That is a hard question. I'll say "the beer in front of me."
Fair enough. What's your favorite among the Half Moon Bay Brewing beers you've tried?
The regulars or any of the seasonal specials?
Just any that you've tried.
Of the ones I've tried, I really like the Kölsch and the Word on the Street IPA.
Nicely chosen. Finally, is there anything you'd like to say to the blog readers?
I'm excited to join the team, I'm looking forward to being able to start producing beer with James, coming up with new recipes and seeing what I can bring to the table. Hopefully I'll get started with the sour program soon and some other new beers, I'm looking forward to being a part of that. I'm excited to be here and hopefully people will be excited about these beers.
Thanks for your time, Adam.