Recent music education graduate, Matt Matuszek, takes a love for beer and transforms it into business possibilties.
Q. Describe the moment that you fell in love with beer.
A. The first time that I really enjoyed a cold one was in Germany. I went to the local brauhaus and had an incredible Hefeweizen that was way better than the american domestics I was used to.
Q. When did you make your first batch of beer and what kind was it?
A. I’m a newbie – I started in January and bought a red ale starter pack from Bell’s during the Kalamazoo Beer week. I couldn’t wait to unpack it and start brewing with my roommate Dave Bernard.
Q. What is the biggest challenge you have faced while brewing your own beer?
A. The biggest challenge is deciding on what to make next! There are so many types of beer that can be made a variety of different ways and cover a myriad of flavors. Although the first batch we made had a few speed bumps. We had to hurry and find a five gallon boiling pot. Luckily some friends of our on Grant have also been doing a bit of home brewing and they let us borrow it. The hardest part of the process is definitely the fermenting part. It’s hard to know when the bottles are ready. It’s kind of a take one or two out a week and try it. Then we decide if they’re ready to take out and share or need to sit in our basement for a few more weeks.
Q. How many days do you let your beer ferment?
A. Brew day can take anywhere from three to eight hours. It varies by type, but the primary fermentation period takes about six to ten days and the secondary fermentation takes at least two weeks. Like I said though, it’s hard to know when you get the right mix of cardination and flavors.
Q. Do you have any hopes to make it a career choice?
A. Actually I’m looking into being a brewer over the summer. I’m spending my summer in Colorado so it’d be a blast to brew in a place where craft beers have such a strong presence. I’d love to learn all I can from those guys and come back and really knock some new ones out of the park.
Q. Are you the best brewer you know?
A. Absolutely. No, actually I’m not at all, it’s a great community though. It’s not about being the best it’s about creating new things and to encourage each other.
Q. What’s your favorite beer?
A. Right now I’m really digging Upslope’s Brown Ale.