Last month, you met our graphic goddess, Paula. As you learned, she is the beauty and brains behind a number of Victory’s elegant designs. Today, we introduce you to Clay Jenkins. He, along with our other brewers, is the muscle and mind behind the flavorful beers you have come to know and enjoy.
Clay brewing with Iron Chef, Jose Garces.
Here’s a little more about the brewer…
Q: How long have you worked for Victory?
A: Almost 2 years.
Q: Describe for us what you really do here at Victory.
A: Basically try to convince machines to do what I want them to do. Most of my time is spent in the brewhouse treating the machines very nicely in order to get everything to run smoothly. It’s like large-scale cooking. Watching a bunch of different pots at once.
Q: What is the coolest thing about your job?
A: Answering people’s questions about beer and talking about beer with some kind of knowledge. A lot of people are really interested in the process and don’t know a lot about it. I think it’s really fun to teach about it and let people know what’s acutally in their glass and what it takes to get it there.
Q: What did you study in school? How did you make your way into the brewing field?
A: I was in college and didn’t know what I wanted to major in but I knew I liked science, so I ended up with a degree in microbiology. I had a microbiology professor who took me under his wing and got me involved with his own projects, some of which involved yeast. Through those studies, I discovered how beer and wine were fermented. I never looked back from there. I knew I wanted to brew and never stopped pursuing that career.
Q: How did you make your way to VBC?
A: After college, I got a job doing lab work for Magic Hat. From there, I went to California for a Master Brewers program. But, I knew I wanted to get back to the east coast. I’m originally from South Jersey. So, I heard of Victory a long time ago. My dad would drink it. My buddies would be drinking it. I knew the name and knew Victory had a good reputation and solid beers. I called Scott Dietrich and said “want to give me a job?”
Q: What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
A: I was a caddy for a long time. That really sucked. There wasn’t much respect going around for people doing all the hard work.
Q: Tell us something about yourself that no one would know just by looking at you.
A: I’m an Eagle Scout.
Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Major league baseball player. Shortstop.
Q: Now that you’re an adult, what do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Probably like a brewpub owner or something along those lines. Something to do with brewing still but maybe something that was “mine.”
Q: Finish this sentence. Beer is . . .
A: Good for what “ales” you. Pun intended.
Q: What’s your favorite candy?
Q: What is your all-time favorite movie?
A: The Big Lebowski.
Q: What is your favorite Victory beer and food pairing?
A: Prima Pils and hot wings.
Q: When did you discover craft beer?
A: Right when I could start legally drinking. At that point, I could get what I actually wanted and not just deal with what other people chose for me. I think my first was a Magic Hat #9.
Q: They’re making a movie about your life, and it starts filming tomorrow. Who is cast as you, and who is cast as your love interest?
A: James Franco could do a good job playing me. I think an obviously answer is Mary Louise Parker. She makes me feel all fluttery inside.
Q: What genre would the movie about your life be?
A: Definitely comedy. Because there’s no evidence that life should be taken seriously.
Clay with Anthrax frontman, Scott Ian.