We spend a moment with home brewer Rob Johnson and see where it all started and what he has on the horizon.

So, can you tell us how it all started for you?

– My (new at the time) brother-in-law started brewing and got the other 2 of us into brewing so as to have a common hobby to discuss at family gatherings.  It turned into a “look what I made” tasting event each time we get together.

What was your first brew and how did it turn out?

– The stout option that is included with a Mid Western starter kit.  My room-mate and I ran out of beer one night and started drinking these after only 1 week in the bottles.  It was a bit “green”, but still really good.

Were there any mishaps / funny moments along the way leading to now?

– Don’t order liquid yeast in the summer if it will be sitting in the sun on your porch for a while and then try to use bread yeast as a substitute.  I dumped the entire batch.

– Also, be mindful of your surroundings on brew day (and don’t drink until the boil starts).  I’ve knocked over a full batch that had just cooled because I tripped over the garden hose that was connected to the wort chiller.

Are there any pieces of equipment that you are looking to buy soon, or are converting for the future?

– I’d be interested in a grain mill and grain storage options.

Bottle or Keg?

– Keg

What is your go to recipe or signature brew?

– Columbus IPA (you know it’s an IPA, but it doesn’t hit you in the face with hop aroma)

What is your schedule for a typical brew day?

– Start whenever I have a good 3-4 hours to devote to it.  It helps to have background music or people around to fill the down time.

What do you love about home brewing and the industry in general?

– I love the creative possibility.  I’ve made some REALLY interesting brews just by changing the type/amount of hops.

Are you attending any festivals / competitions in the coming months?

– Nope.  I’ve entered one competition in the past.  Didn’t win anything, but didn’t have the worst.  As long as I enjoy my beer I really don’t care what others think.  Feedback helps, but I’ll still brew something that I’ll drink.

What are your plans for the future and where do you think the industry is headed?

– Nothing big for now.  I have my first child on the way so I know that I’ll slow down a bit at first.

Are there any breweries that you admire for what they are producing?

– Note: these are all US based: Heavy Seas, Oskar Blues, Belle’s

Finally, what is the name of your “one day” brewery?

– Drunk Monkey Brewing – I climb trees/rocks like a monkey and I like to brew and drink.

A big thank you to Rob for spending the time with us. If you would like to be featured on thehopwhisperer.com as a home brewer please contact us on hello at thehopwhisperer dot com.