Jason - Founder/Contributor
I have been a fan of beer since the first time I swiped one off an end table at the tender age of 2 and Olympia was my beer of choice. In 2002 my wife and I visited my sister in Fort Collins, Co and took a tour of New Belgium Brew Co and my Craft Beer cherry was popped and the rest is history. I Love Craft Beer. I am finding that my taste buds are a little more varied that originally thought as I have been surprised by some of the amazing brews out there in the market and I know that I have only scratched the surface. I wanted to start this site because I am tired of the snobbish, nose in the air, boring beer website BS. Beer is fun and should be treated as such. It really is overdoing it by giving it the whole CSI treatment...enough already. I aim to tell you exactly what I would tell a friend what I think of a beer.
My Personal Greatest Beer Of All Time: Half Acre Brewing Company's Double Daisy Cutter, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Squall IPA and Oskar Blues' Columbian Supreme
Favorite Band: Metallica
Job: Marketing/Advertising Sales & Consulting
LEMon - Founder/Contributor
My eyes were opened in the mid 90’s to beer with taste buy New Belgium’s Fat Tire Amber Ale and from there I was hooked. Tasting, learning and occasionally brewing I drank my way through the craft beers of America. Favorites included Frankenmuth Bock, Deschetues’ Black Butte Porter and Celis White.
Then came a sea change over a Hofbrau Original. The crispness and balance of German bier was a revelation on my ideas of what beer was supposed to be. Hacker-Pschorr, Ayinger and Spaten filled my refrigerator as I drank my way through Europe. And as all good beer exploration should I have moved into the flavors of Belgium.
What can be said about Belgian beer that has not been said already? Again balance is what appeals to my current taste; malt, yeast and a reasonable amount of hops in perfect equilibrium…That is what I enjoy and look for in “The Greatest Beer of all Time”…Balance.
That being said I do enjoy it all, from the growing craft beers of Japan to the Czech Pilsners I enjoy what all beer has to offer.
Personal Greatest Beer of all Time: Grimbergen Cuvee De L'ermitage or maybe Gulden Draak…or maybe Delirium Tremens. So many beers, so little time.
Favorite Music: Be-Bop, the Charlie Parker kind.
Job: Button pressing, camera stooge for the mass media conglomerates.
Wes - Co-Founder/Contributor/Editor
I’m a recovering macro brewery addict who discovered great beer when I went off to college. I became enlightened when I moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan to attend Western Michigan University (Go Broncos!) Living a few blocks away from Bell’s Brewery opened up the world of craft beer to me. Oberon became religion and my palette began to expand. I moved to Chicago a few years later and met Jason at an Incubus concert. We bonded over our love of beer and music. As they say, the rest is history.
My philosophy is simple, good beer should be praised; awful beer should be mocked and ridiculed. I just want to make people laugh and lighten up the stiff and stuffy beer culture that is forming in review websites. At the end of the day if we help one person discover a new brew, or save some money by not buying garbage, I will be happy.
Greatest Beer of All Time : Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, Bell's 25th Annivesary Ale
Favorite Band: Rage Against The Machine
Quote: “I regret that I have but one liver to give to my country!”
Heaven: A good brew after a long day of powder snowboarding.
Steve (or as Jason calls him "Master Steve") – Contributor
In 1995 I was in the Army and stationed near Seattle. I began homebrewing because I was 19 years old and unable to buy beer, so after seeing a homebrew shop I decided that I would make it. When I turned 21 I began drinking beer from the area and I wanted to emulate the regional beers that I enjoyed. I continued brewing on and off as years passed and became serious about the craft in 2006. What was once a hobby soon became an obsession. I brew approximately 20 batches each year. I teach homebrewing to whomever I can find with an interest in learning the craft. I recently attended the Concise Course in Brewing Technology at Siebel Institute of Technology. The tools and techniques I learned from Siebel are priceless although they did cost me a pretty penny. I have a true love and appreciation for the creation and consumption of great craft beer.
My Personal Greatest Beer Of All Time: Brewery Ommegang’s Ommegeddon Funkhouse Ale
Favorite Band: Faith No More
Job: Assistant Brewer
Rafael - Contributor (Certified Cicerone®)
My earliest memory of beer was watching my father drink Coors out of a can when we were visiting relatives in Texas. I had never seen him drink before, and I was kind of shocked to see him enjoy it as much as he did. I thought he hated beer, but I guess I was wrong. My very first beer was an MGD. It was my sophomore year of High School, and I can specifically remember being ecstatic that I liked it. Unfortunately, MGD and whatever yellow fizzy water was on special that week sustained my needs almost entirely through my college years at EIU. My first taste of REAL beer came to me from my mother on one of her return visits from the motherland (Poland). She brought me a Zywiec, and I can honestly say that I’ve never turned back from that moment on. Next was Chimay. THEN.. on my search for good beer from OUR shores I stumbled upon Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale.. and the rest is history. To this day I consider Sierra Nevada the Granddaddy of American Craft beer, and will always hold it in high esteem. One of my daughters middle name is Sierra.
I was in grad school furthering my education as an educator when I abandoned all my plans and decided that craft beer, and the people who are equally passionate for it, are all I want to surround myself around. Craft beer is my life, and I’ve made it a personal goal to spread the good word. You can visit me at Tap House Grill, where I am the Beer Director for the company, Certified Cicerone®, and am also the General Manager for our Westmont location. Drink great beer friends…
Personal Greatest Beer of All Time: Three Floyd’s Brian Boru, Dogfish Head’s Squall IPA, Half Acre’s Double Daisy Cutter, Three Floyd's BlackHeart English Style IPA, Two Brothers Hop Juice
Favorite Band: The Cure
Job: Beverage Director/General Manager for Tap House Grill/Certified Cicerone®
Ashley - Contributor
Until I was of legal drinking age, I thought I HATED beer. My indoctrination to the beer underworld was swift and thorough: In two hours at a great bar near my university at the age of 21, I consumed Newcastle Brown Ale and New Belgium Fat Tire on draught, a bottle of Pyramid’s Audacious Apricot, and a can of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Not the most cohesive or adventurous of brew excursions, I’ll admit, but a definite smack in the face to what I had previously considered “beer”! After that, I was ruined for American macrobrews.
It was a gift of Fate that I dropped out of grad school landed a sweet job doing administrative/party planning work at a craft beer and gastro pub. I made friends with a whole slew of super-passionate beer nerds, helped plan a massive and incredible brewers’ fest (holler!), and fell in love with American craft beer and everything it represents. I’m cool with the fact that I’m no expert—I just enjoy beer more than the average young lady, and relish the thought of learning more with each sip.
Let me wax a li’l poetic… Ahem. Blogs like TGBOAT form, in my opinion, something akin to the Dead Poets Society of beer. Craft beer is a social activity, a playground, a field of study, a bracing breath of fresh air, a recipe ingredient, and absolute artistry in a glass. It sparks my imagination, challenges my senses, and offers constant surprises (some pleasant, some notsomuch). I may be a dorky, 20-something female, but I’ve got eager taste buds, a smart mouth, and a lot to say—so take heed, bitches!
Personal Greatest Beer(s) of All Time—for now: Southern Tier Jah-va Imperial Stout, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf, Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
Other Talents: Writing poetry and short fiction and stuff, performing in drag as my alter-ego Myles Long, studying and geeking out about sociological phenomena, cooking, running, organizing events, and being dead sexy.
Job: Server at Tap House Grill in Westmont, IL.
Dream Job: World-traveling beer and food reviewer/cultural commentator/philanthropist. I want to make the world a better and more entertaining place, one beer at a time!
Chris - Contributor/Master Interviewer
I have been a pretty big beer fan for a while. While the deepest roots of my affection for beer may stem from my father pouring me a cup to get me to sleep on Christmas Eve as a child, the real love affair started in college as I tried to rid myself of weekends of Busch Light and other swill. Beers like New Glarus's Spotted Cow and Goose Island's 312 helped me segway to better brews. As I began to expand my taste buds, I started trying other types of beers, my favorites being IPAs.
I met Wes through work. We became pretty good friends and then we realized we both enjoyed quality beers. When Wes told me about TGBOAT I said, "Please, let me in on that!" Jason decided it would be helpful to have another writer, so here I am.
I am with the guys when they say there are too many beer snobs in the world. I hope to never be that type of person. I like beer, so telling people about the ones I like and dislike seems like a natural progression. I'm not trying to write a novel, but I like getting creative in order to give people an image of the beer, and maybe a chuckle or two. I hope that by writing for TGBOAT I will be able to get the word out on great beers. Oh, and I hope to drink a few as well.
Personal Greatest Beer Of All Time: Still searching for that perfect thirst quencher.
Current Go-To Beers: Founders Red Rye P.A. and Sierra Nevada Torpedo
Favorite Band: Metallica
Quote: When we drink we get drunk, When we get drunk we fall asleep, When we sleep we commit no sin, When we commit no sin we go to Heaven, So let us all drink and go to Heaven. -Irish Proverb
Eric - Contributor
Growing up in Illinois, we basically had three choices in beer; Budweiser, Miller Lite, and Old Style (and the occasional Stroh’s). All of those beers tasted like crap to me, and my thought at the time was “If this is what beer is, then I don’t like beer.”
Favorite Beer Moment: I was sitting at a bar, in a foul mood, after a particular crappy day at work. The bartender asked me what I wanted, and I asked for “one of those ‘pink elephant’ beers.” So he pours me a glass of Delirium Tremens, and I sit there drinking. A few minutes goes by and suddenly I have no cares in the world, and a huge smile on my face. That’s when I realized I just experienced the greatest beer of all time.
Greatest Beer of All Time: Delirium Tremens or La Fin Du Monde
Favorite Bands: James, Modest Mouse
Job: Surveyor/Field Engineer
Photography courtesy of Miller+Miller Photography