Meet Your Brewer #2 - Alex Doering, Freehouse
InkandSpark | 4 min read
While we often enjoy the product of their labors, many casual beer drinkers may not know much about the people who brew their beer. Here's a few tips: They often wear hats and boots; some have beards, but this is not the rule. The reality is that brewers are as perse as the beers they brew, and each has their own story and approach to brewing. This series is dedicated to brewers.
Today, we go behind the scenes with Alex Doering of Freehouse.
How did you become Lead Brewer of Freehouse?
Tim “Pio” Piotrowski was the head brewer that helped build the brewery and start the Freehouse. I worked alongside Pio for about 2 years, until about 7 months ago when I took over along with Matt Asay around April/May.
How did you get into brewing?
I started homebrewing in college, mistakenly trying to save money on beer. Obviously, homebrewing does not work out that way. But I really enjoyed it, and homebrewed for awhile after that with my friend Tyler. After awhile I decided I wanted to pursue a career in beer, so I started working as a bartender at Granite City Brewery to get my foot in the door. I started doing some cellaring there, stayed there for about 3 years, and then made my way to the Freehouse.
All time favorite beer?
Bell’s Two-hearted Ale. Almost a smash IPA, all centennial hops. Really straightforward beer and super tasty.
I love brewing stouts and porters. They smell awesome when you’re brewing, with all the roasted malts. Overall though, my favorite styles change over time. I used to be an IPA guy, but I’ve grown into a lot of lager beers - Vienna lagers, Pilsners, etc.
New England IPAs. Yay or nay.
I don’t understand it - but it’s absolutely it’s own thing - it’s own style. We probably won’t brew one - but the closest we might get is a smash IPA coming up, brewed with Citra hops. We’re probably going to filter it though - so it won’t be hazy.
What’s in the pipeline? What's coming up?
We’re trying a bourbon-barrel aged Belgian Quad that we’re adding orange peel and cherry to, to give it a little bit of Old-Fashioned flavor. We’re also entering a few beers into the World Beer Cup at the end of April.
Greatest success as a brewer?
For me, it’s understanding the nuances of how your brewing system works. I know the sounds around the brewery - and I can tell a lot about how the brewing process is going just by the sounds. Learning that has been a ton of fun for me.