I am sorry that there hasn’t been a brewery profile in the last couple of weeks. In a crazy realization I found out that busy brewers don’t always have time to answer the questions of some random dude on a Wisconsin Badgers blog. Honestly, I’d rather they continue to make kickass beer instead of taking time to email me back, but if they are able to multi-task and do both...hoooooo boy do I like that.
The fine folks at People’s Brewing Company in Lafayette, Ind., were able to do just that and I think we should show them some love by trying to drink them out of beer this weekend. It can only help us deal with, what will surely be, a maddening game.
After enjoying Breakfast Club and wandering over to the stadium make sure to grab a can or two of People’s Brewing Company beer IN THE DANG STADIUM! One day Camp Randall will enter the 1990s and serve beer in the stadium for all of us to enjoy. Until then? Enjoy road stadia that are enlightened.
Name: People’s Brewing Company
Location: 2006 N 9th St, Lafayette, Ind. 47904
Key Beers: Boiler Gold Ale; Boiler Black Ale; Moundbuilder IPA; Farmer’s Daughter Wheat Ale
Awards Won: 2016 Best Canned American Style Wheat Beer Farmer’s Daughter by the Can Can awards.
Here is my interview, conducted via email and lightly edited, with co-owner and brewmaster Chris Johnson.
What got you started in the brewing industry?
I started home brewing with some friends while I was in college and really got into the creation of beers, manipulating ingredients and equipment to create different flavors. This brought me to seeking a job in craft brewing. Funny story, my last big apartment on campus (Purdue’s main campus in West Lafayette) I convinced two of my roommates to share a room, so we could use the other room for fermentation and aging, I put a window air conditioner in this room and covered the door and duct work with army blankets, so we could chill the room down really cold for crashing beers. I was brewing as often as I could and we always had plenty of beer. [Writer’s note: my roommates in college sucked.]
What did you go to school for?
I went to school for Technical Graphics (we used pencils and paper, they don’t anymore), but while I was at Purdue they changed it to Computer Graphics (no more pencils).
When did you change your career path to brewing?
I was five semesters into CG and decided that I wanted to do something different. I took a semester off and got into brewing. The next summer I landed a job at our local brewery (Lafayette Brewing Company est. 1993) cleaning kegs. I ended up working there for almost nine years (seven as their head brewer), it was a great learning experience for me.
What is your favorite beer that your brewery makes?
I would usually say the one in my hand, but I tend to drink our Phantom Assassin IPA and our Ol’ Tavern Beer the most. Right now we have our St. Boinface Germanfest Lager on and that’s one of my favorites too. On game day I always go for a Boiler Gold or Boiler Black to cheer on the Boilers!
What is your favorite beer that a brewery in Wisconsin makes and what is your favorite beer that another brewery in Indiana makes?
It’s so hard to pick favorites, but we come to the Great Taste of the Midwest every year and always hit up the Great Dane while we there. I love their cask IPAs (Speedbump IPA is my favorite from them). My favorite beer in Indiana right now, and again there are so many, is Mad Anthony Brewing Company’s Mosaic Moon IPA. I don’t often drink bigger IPAs, but it’s a very tasty beer.
Do you follow college football?
If so, how do you think the Wisconsin vs. Purdue game will turn out?
Purdue has had a roller coaster of a season, but they tend to play well at home, with our great home crowd and the help of Boiler Gold and Boiler Black (there is something in the beer) they should win.
Is your beer distributed in Wisconsin?
We don’t currently distribute to Wisconsin, but you never know, we love coming up and taking part in the Great Taste of the Midwest. Madison is such a great city!
Do you offer tours of the brewery?
We do free tours on Saturdays at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30
Which of your beers should Badgers fans drink before/after the game while tailgating?
Boiler Gold and Boiler Black are great for game days, Purdue fan or not, and they are available in the stadium [Writer’s note: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!], but so is our Moundbuilder IPA, if they are looking for something a bit hoppier.
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English Style Sweet Stout Ale. Brewed with pale, chocolate, Carafa, aromatic, and lactose sugar resulting in a smooth malt character and thick creamy brown head. The addition of lactose sugar, unfermentable sugar, gives the beer some residual sweetness. Added chocolate post-fermentation gives a slightly sweet and strong chocolate flavor. We balanced this stout with Santium and Fuggle hops. #peoplesbrew #FreshLocalBeer #drinklocal #livinglafayette #indianaontap #cocoastout
What do you listen to while brewing?
I’m a bluegrass and old time fan, but I can get down on some old school hip hop too, so today it’s Jungle Brothers.
Why is beer important to you?
I have been brewing for 20 years (18 years professionally) and I get up everyday excited to go to work. Beer has really been a huge part of my life and I never get tired of fresh local beer, cheers!