Ever wonder who’s coming up with the tasty brews at our Kennett Square Taproom? Look no further than Mike McLaughlin, Kennett Square Lead Brewer! Enjoy the Q&A session below to learn a little more about the people behind our incredible beers.
Did you get into brewing through home brewing? If so do you still home brew? If not, how did you get into brewing? I got into brewing when I lived in Denver, appreciating the craft beer scene and seeing Victory beers out at bars for the brief time I lived there. Once I came back home to Downingtown I started home brewing quite frequently, moving from extract kits to full grain home brews. During this time I was dating a waitress at Victory (now my wife), who told Scott Dietrich she had a boyfriend who was looking for a position and the next thing I knew I was being interviewed at Victory Brewing Company and the rest is history!
If you weren’t a brewer, what would you be? If I wasn’t a brewer I would be working in the biology field or be a professional pizza delivery boy/man.
What was the first beer you ever brewed? My first home-brew was a Black IPA that came from an extract-kit. My first beer that I came up with as a brewer for Victory was the Black Rye Saison that got released in February 2015.
Do you have a favorite ingredient to work with right now? Mosaic hops. I’ve used it in three beers that I brewed here in Kennett and every batch with that hop has had great aroma and flavor qualities due to that hop.
What is your favorite Victory beer past or present? What is your favorite non-Victory beer? Before I started working at Victory I would drink HopDevil like it was going out of style. Now my go to when I’m at the bar is Braumiester Pils. I can drink that beer all day.
What is your favorite style to drink and what is your favorite style to brew? If they are different, why? I love to drink a good Saison (when I can find one) and personally, I don’t really have a favorite style to brew, but I love a challenge so anytime there is a new experimental hop to use I like throwing that into any style of beer and seeing what the end result is going to be.
What is your favorite or least favorite part of the brewing process? My least favorite part of the brewing process is the most important part and that is waiting for fermentation to finish up (which can take longer than 2 weeks sometimes). You can hit all your brewing targets such as Knock Gravity, pH, Cell Count, etc. but none of that matters until you allow the yeast to finish up their job and see what the end result is.