Mike Arnold is the brewer at the Marietta Brewing Co., located along the Ohio River in southeastern Ohio. The brewpub is downtown and in a skinny row building, which used to serve as an alley until a roof was added and it was enclosed. In addition to having an emphasis on beer, the brewpub also is a great music venue.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: I became a brewer by luck actually. The Marietta Brewing Co. was being brought back after being closed for four months and when it did come back there was a new GM. The GM knew that I was a good homebrewer and asked me to come on board as the brewer's assistant. I did so and after Kelly Sauber, the brewer I worked under left in October 2010 I took over as the head brewer.
Q: What sets Marietta Brewing apart in a crowded beer industry?
A: What sets The Marietta Brewing Co. apart from other breweries is that we make beers that everyone can enjoy. I'm not saying no other brewery does that but we make everything from a crisp easy drinking golden ale we call George's First, to a punch your mouth double IPA we call Double Donor. We also make our McLaren's Scotch Ale that you were nice enough to make one of Ohio's top eight beers. We do different stuff also with our beers like our PawPaw Wheat where we use the real pawpaw fruit, and our beer, Parched Wissler, where we make a brown ale with hickory nuts. Maybe whats sets us apart a little too is our brewhouse setup with it being a two-story brewhouse and that you pass it as one walks through the door. We have live entertainment every Thursday, Friday and Saturday with brings in crowds. Lots of local bands come in and play and most of them are pretty good and we have had nationally known bands Hawthrone Heights and on Nov. 10, the band Taproot will be coming to play as well.
Q: Everyone must assume being a brewer is a great job -- you get to work with beer. What would surprise people who did your job for a day?
A: What a person might not know about the brewing biz is all the cleaning that takes place. To a brewer at least in my case, at least 85 percent of my time goes to cleaning. To the mash tun, brew kettle, fermenters, lines beer goes through, filtration system, serving tanks. All of it needs to be clean to put out a good product. So if someone was to work with me, depending on the day, I would think they'd ask why are we cleaning so much?
Q: What's your favorite beer that you brew and why?
A: My favorite beer that I brew is either Marietta Pale Ale or Fort Harmar Stout. I can't really pick one sorry. The Marietta Pale Ale has a little more caramel to it then the average pale ale and a little more maltiness to it. The beer has a nice hop and it comes out well with the nice thick head you get on a glass. The Fort Harmar Stout because it has a creamy mouthfeel to it and after swallowing you can notice a hint of cherries.
Q: Which beer -- any beer in the world -- do you wish you created/invented/brewed and why?
A: If I were to pick any beer in the world that I wish I could of invented it would be Kolstriker. It is made by Kolstriker Schwarzerbrauerei GmbH and Co. The brewery is located in central Germany and it was Germany's first black lager. Reason why I wish I had invented this beer is because of it uniqueness. It's flavor is a rich deep heavy coffee like taste. It is easy to drink but it has that something special about it that I can't put my finger on it.