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MEET THE BREWMASTER: John Novotny


Q. How did you get started brewing?

I developed a fascination with the science of fermentation and beer at a fairly early age. I found myself in the library reading books about brewing. This manifested into home-brewing as a fun hobby until my first position as an apprentice at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse at their first location in Brea, CA.

Q. What's your favorite part about being a Brewmaster? The best part of my job is creating creative greatness in a glass that people enjoy. Secondly, I love working with awesome people and having the opportunity to build cohesive teams and sharing the knowledge of brewing.

Q. Favorite brewing process or type of beer to brew?

The most rewarding beer-to-brew is an authentic German Pilsener. These beers require perfection and technical aptitude during the process, from raw materials to the glass, to yield a flawless product.

Q. How did you end up at Twin Oast? Both my wife and I were looking for a more calm environment to raise our children, provide an opportunity for her desire to farm, and for myself, to produce farm to fermentor beers. This opportunity became available at the time. We put our heads together and said, "Let's do it!"

Q. Can you name a brew you are particularly proud of?

I am very proud of what we produce here. There are a couple beers that I am particularly proud of and pay special attention too. Beer 1 is our Feeling Dangerous German Style Schwarzber. Beer 2 is our Kelley's Island German Style Pilsener. Of course, all the German lagers we do are fantastic. I am also very proud of our Ice Shove White IPA. This concept was put together by my wife and I. It consists of rosemary, apples, and a Belgian yeast strain. It is an amazing out-side-the-box IPA.

Q. What does the recent success at the New York Beer Competition mean to you?

It is very rewarding to be able to enter beers, with other successful breweries, into friendly competitions and seek some validation by judges non-subjectively.

Q. Anything up your sleeve this summer that folks should be on the lookout for?

We have a great lineup of beers at Twin Oast and a wonderful rotating selection of seasonals. I may have something exciting on the lookout in August, but this is too soon to promise. Q. What's your beard management regimen?

Daily wash and brush only. I do at times throw some 'product' in there, but not regularly. I've been blessed....

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