Brewer of the Week: Ben Wilder
Who are you?
Home Town (City, State):
Colorado Springs, Colorado
When did you start brewing?
What got you brewing?
I've always been a "beer snob," and as a gift, my lady got me a starter kit. I had never given a thought to making beer, and was like, "huh, no way!" I've been hooked ever since.
I see there is a picture of you playing guitar, is that karaoke night or are you in a band? Yes, I play bass in a band, called Tattooed Grin, kind of a progressive/alternative/metal. We're on YouTube, Facebook, and ReverbNation. We're a trio, and have been playing together for a year and a half. I've been playing for 20 years, been all over, toured, opened for some big name bands, and just had a blast with music altogether.
So you were a Marine? Any beer stories from the Marine Corps?
When I was in the Marine Corps, my 1st sergeant was retiring, and we were having a big party for his last night. I was picked to get the first round of beers, and had to get two trays with 50 12oz beers. Needless to say, I tripped and dumped both trays in the 1st sergeant's lap. Totally sober. He had a good sense of humor, and bought the next round for all of us!
What is your "white whale" beer (the beer you'd hunt to the ends of the earth for, and possibly die trying to obtain)?
Malhuer 10, and 12
What is your favorite local craft brewery?
Great Divide and Avery, and in my hometown, Bristol Brewery
What are your favorite styles to brew?
Belgians! Golden Strong Ales, Tripels and Abbeys. I also love a good Porter.
What is your favorite beer recipe?
My version of a Golden Strong. Sorry, it's proprietary! Just kidding, ask me and I'll give it to you.
You seem to have a passion for Belgian ales, have you been to Belgium?
I've never been to Belgium, or Europe for that matter. My love affair with Belgian styles began about six years ago, when my brother gave me a bottle of Koningshoeven Dubbel for my birthday. I started seeking out and trying all different types of Belgian and Belgian-inspired beers. Tripel and Golden Strong Ales are my faves, and there are very few I've tried that I don't like. Malheur 10, La Chouffe, La Trappe, and St. Bernardus are my top choices, but Unibroue in Canada makes some great ones, too. Avery and Great Divide here in Colorado have two of my absolute favorites.
How frequently do you brew (times per month or year)?
As often as I can, usually twice a month. I brewed 20 beers in the first year!
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him?
Thomas Jefferson, (because he was a brewer too) probably an Amber Ale. Or Joe Sakic, my Golden Strong Ale.
Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients?
I had two cats, Guinness (rip) and Murphy.
How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions?
I have yet to enter a comp, but I took some of my golden strong to a club meeting, held at a new brewery that had just opened. The head brewer tried it and came back for more. At the end of the night, he told me that my beer was the best he'd tried that night. I went home with a much bigger ego!
Got any sweet beer names?
Tattooed Grin Tripel, Good God Golden Strong, Absolutely Amazing Amber Ale.
Any homebrew clubs that you like to hang out with?
Shout out to the Brew Brothers of Pikes Peak! These guys have been great, accepting me and making me feel at home with them. Great feedback on the beers I've shared with them, and just good camaraderie.