The secret is out on Jack’s Abby Brewing. After taking home another 2 awards from the 2014 World Beer Cup, Jack’s Abby and their luscious lagers have gained more attention than ever before. And deservedly so!
Last night, we took a few minutes away from our co-hosted Beer Dinner with Jacob Wirth Restaurant and Jack’s Abby to chat with one of JA’s most visible (but, perhaps, least well-known) Beer Geeks: Sales Representative Ben Warner.
Let’s cut right to it, shall we?
Title: The Other Guy
On Twitter: @JacksAbbyBen
1. How long have you been with Jack’s Abby? How did you get started?
I have been a part of the Jack’s Abby family since Feburary of 2013. How it started…? It started when I first found Hoponius Union in Jamaica Plain–I was blown away. Drinking that beer led me to multiple brewery visits and eventually resulted in me working my way into our tasting room every Saturday–filling/cleaning growlers, talking beer, having a good time. From there, my role with the brewery continued to develop, as it continues to do so today.
2. What are some of the best/most difficult parts of your job?
This is a long answer, I will elaborate later.
Truth. I was/am/will be a Social Worker, whether it be working with disadvantaged youth at a non-profit or slanging craft lagers with Jack’s Abby–both count as social work–right?
Seriously though, yes, I work as a Therapeutic Mentor at The Home for Little Wanderers, a Boston-based non-profit, where I do skill development and behavioral interventions for typically “under privileged” youth, ranging from 5-21 years of age. From experience, I can say that it is not easy growing up. I had some pretty key people that were there for me when I was a young troublemaker, and I like to think that I can be that person for some of the youth that I work with at The Home.
I have worked at The Home since 2010, but dropped down to working part-time as a mentor since becoming full time with JAB. Fortunately, the Bros only shoot down 90% of my crazy ideas, so at some point down the road it would be great to use the craft beer platform to do some different kinds of projects that have a socially-minded twist.
4. We also heard that you’re getting married soon, and that that’s something of a theme this year at Jack’s Abby?
I am getting married, indeed. I am a very lucky guy, and she is a very tolerant woman.
Last year the trend at the brewery was babies, Jack and Abby had baby Molly and Mike Gleason and his wife, Lara, had a baby named Miles. The end result was a 14% Lager Wine called “Baby Maker”. This year, stay tuned for “Bride Maker”. Sam got engaged a few months back and one of our brewers will be getting hitched very soon.
There are so many great beers, a few that are in recent memory:
Anything sour from Allagash
Love a good pale ale–Zombie Dust/Fort Point
All time favorite 2xIPA–Double Sunshine, purchased my first bottle of it from CBC a few years back
Dark–Barrel-aged Framinghammer/De Dolle Extra Export Stout/Barbapapa
6. We hear you’re a bit of a cook as well. Do you have a good Jack’s Abby beer/food pairing to share with us?
Smoke and Dagger with ANYTHING. Seriously, ranging from something delicate like an oyster to something heavy duty like a bbq’d rack of ribs.
As Sam says, “With Smoke and Dagger and a rack of ribs, I’m the happiest boy in town.”
7. What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to work in the craft beer business?
You would be better off asking one of the OG Grinders that have been in the game for longer than I have. My approach centers around doing me and working hard. To this point, that approach has worked out well for me, so I would pass it along.
Thanks for the chat, Ben!