The Brewmasters - Brian Faivre Of Deschutes Brewery

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Austin: How did you start brewing?
Brian: I started brewing in college: beginning with a mail order kit, then moving onto an extract kit from a local homebrew shop in Santa Rosa, CA, then finally transitioning to all grain brewing.

Quality Ingredients Are Important When Brewing Quality Beer
Austin: How did you start brewing commercially?
Brian: I was living in San Francisco, taking some time off from my current career as a software engineer. A brewpub in San Francisco was looking for an assistant brewer. I applied and got the job! The pay was low, and the job was physically demanding and at times very dangerous. However, for once I loved coming to work every day.
Austin: Can you describe your brewery, equipment, how much beer is produced, any other information that would make your brewery unique?
Brian: At Deschutes Brewery, we actually have 3 brewing facilities (2 brew pubs and our main production facility). At our main production facility with have a 50 bbl JVNW brewhouse and a 150 bbl Huppmann brewhouse. We shipped 334,850 bbl last year.

The Deschutes Brewery And Public House In Bend, Oregon
Austin: Do you still brew at home?
Brian: With a busy career and 2 young kids, I use our pubs as a chance to homebrew every once in a while.
Austin: What are some of the differences between small-batch and large commercially-produced batches?
Brian: The obvious difference is the batch size, but quality and consistency can be achieved on both. Multiple batches and blending can be beneficial in achieving consistency, but this can be nailed down whether small or large batch.
Austin: What's your favorite beer?
Brian: Currently it is our Obsidian Stout.
Austin: Tell us about one of your most memorable homebrewing experiences.
Brian: My first homebrew was an all-extract stout kit. It fermented in a carboy underneath the bathroom sink. My roommates and I were, to be honest, a little scared. One night we were having a party and our keg kicked, so we went for the bottled homebrew. It was over-carbonated and gushed. I'll never forget 2 things from this:
1) My good friend telling me how he was never able to get the stain out of his jeans.
2) Most importantly, several people said they really liked it. That was a very pivotal moment in my brewing career.
Austin: What is your favorite food and beer pairing?
Brian: An Imperial stout paired with a dark, rich, dense cake.

Deschutes Brewery Beer Is Available On Nitro And Co2
Austin: What do you think the future of craft beer holds? Will the next ten years bring the same kind of change we've seen in the last ten?
Brian: I hope so.
Austin: What style do you think will take off in the near future?
Brian: I think sour and wild fermentations will continue to catch fire.
Austin: Do you own or plan to lease a canning line? If not, have you considered canning?
Brian: We currently don't have a canning line. We'd love the option to provide some of our beers in cans.
Austin: Do you filter any beers? How do you clear before packaging?
Brian: We use a centrifuge for nearly all of our clarification.

Austin: Do you make any beer that you would consider aging?

Brian: Yes! Check out our reserve series: http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/beer/#reserve.
Austin: Do you have any sour beer plans? How about Brett beers?
Brian: Yes, we are constantly experimenting. The Dissident is a Flanders Oud Bruin brewed with cherries, aged in Pinot Noir barrels, and incorporating 2 strains of brettanomyces. It's our most popular Brett offering.

Pick Any Favorite From A Full Lineup Of Brian Faivre's Beer
Austin: Last Question: What is the one piece of advice you wish someone would've given you when you first started brewing?
Brian: Realize that things rarely go perfectly. Even with this, you can still make perfect beer.
Bio
Among his many professional accomplishments Brian Faivre has been the brewmaster at the Deschutes Brewery since October of 2011, located in Bend, OR. Having joined Deschutes in July 2004 as their brewer he later held the position as their principal brewer and assistant brewmaster as he made his way up to the top spot as the brewery's brewmaster. A graduate of the UC Davis Master Brewers Program he also worked as the assistant brewer at the San Francisco Brewing Company and then brewer at the Broken Drum brewery before being hired by Deschutes Brewery where he is currently employed.
 
Just want to say that Fresh Squeezed is one of my all-time favorite beers, and definitely a model of where American IPAs are headed. My (now) fiancee and I picked up a 6-pack in West Philly for a memorable $19 at a deli and proceeded to a party for some friends moving to Nepal (yes, they were there for the earthquake). There was a splendid variety of beers there, but after our first sips we kept crossing our fingers hoping that others wouldn't grab the rest, despite our vocal praises. We wanted them all to ourselves.
So, if you had any hand in crafting that one, good job and thanks. Oh, and any tips on cloning it?
 
Deschutes was one of the first microbreweries in Oregon, now they distribute to something like 30 states, but their beer continues to be innovative and is some of the best tasting beer in Oregon to this day, which is saying something in a state with hundreds of microbreweries. Even in Bend, with so many other good choices, I am always happy to visit the Bond Street pub in downtown Bend. I just took my parents and their friends last Friday and we were all treated to free 2oz tasters of new releases: http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/pub-reserve-series-2/
At $15-$20 per 22oz bottle, we got a screaming deal! The sour quad was my favorite, similar in flavor to the Conflux #1, IMO. Thanks Brian for all your innovation! Keep up the great work!
 
I've had a couple of their beers I found around here. Good flavors that didn't seem thin or lacking. Just goes to show what a home brewer can accomplish!
 
I believe their The Abyss to be one of the finest beers in the world. I had it on tap at their brewpub, revelatory.
 
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