Brian Draper is the co-founder and brewer at Drop Tine Winery & Tap House in Montpelier in Northwest Ohio. The winery and nanobrewery, which uses deer antlers as tap handles, opened earlier this summer.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I would have to say it was because of my Dad. As a kid, I helped him bottle his homebrew into his Buckeye Beer bottles. That was in the late 1960s and way before the availability of homebrew kits and supplies. I have no idea what he used as a recipe, but I do remember him picking hops from our fence line and pitching yeast that he made bread with along with a little wine yeast.

Some of the neighbors liked his brew but most did not because it didn't taste like “store bought beer.” After a batch or two exploded all over the basement, Mom put an end to any future attempts at brewing. He was more successful at making vino and in the late 1980s I also began making wine.

During that time, Home Wine Supply in Dundee, Mich., began selling cans of Muntons Mild malt extract so I thought why not give brewing a try. I already had most of the equipment from winemaking. We were all surprised how good it came out. It also brought back a lot of memories of the early days of helping my Dad. Shortly after that, me and several of my buddies all chipped in on an all-grain brew house and began making 10-gallon batches.

Q: What's the story behind the brewery/winery name Drop Tine?

A: We get asked about the name a lot, which is good. The more people that are saying our name, the better right? My other partners, Corey and Terry Humbarger came up with it early on.

A Drop Tine is a phrase used by hunters for a buck whose rack has a tine or multiple tines pointing downward. They are extremely rare to say the least. All three of us are longtime hunters and have never seen one in the wild. Anyone who is fortunate enough to come in contact with one never forgets it and they share it with all their closest friends and family.

Opening a winery/ brewery with an exquisite food menu in Montpelier, Ohio, is also a rare thing to see happen. We want to provide an experience that our patrons will always remember and will share with their friends and family. I wish someone would give me a beer every time someone says “a brewery in Montpelier Ohio? When did this happen?"

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends now?

A: I never met a beer I didn't like, but my least favorite is probably a sour. I'm not a big fan of anything sour to begin with, so it's a little hard getting my taste buds to accept it.

But in saying that, sours are probably my favorite trend. I appreciate that sours are the oldest style in the history of beer. They have so much complexity and layers of flavor. They hit you from so many different angles. No taste buds going to waste here. I really need to keep sampling them so I can add them to my favorite list.

Q: Drop Tine is still new so I'll mix up this question a bit. If someone walks into your place today and can have only one beer, what do you hand them and why? (And assume the person enjoys all styles and you're handing them what you consider your best beer or the one you're most proud of.)

A: Actually I try to get them into something that they don't like. My favorite game is when someone tells me they don't like a dark beer. I'll pour them a sample or two, and before they taste it, I’ll have a discussion with them of what flavor notes to look for. Before you know it, they're ordering a Porter or Stout and saying this is the first dark beer they have ever liked. It’s not like we’re adding some secret ingredient or anything ... or are we ... I just think it's important to educate customers on how to taste a craft beer rather than just drinking them. Once you’ve accomplished that, they will have a better experience when visiting craft breweries.

Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/brewed and why?

A: This may sound crazy, but I would have loved to have Buckeye Beer as one of ours. The Buckeye Brewing Co. originated in my hometown, Toledo, Ohio, and was always in my Ol’ Man's fridge. I still have all of the cases of empty returnables that my Dad had stashed under his basement steps (in the event he got a reprieve from Mom). Even though he tried to single-handedly keep Buckeye in business, they moved production to Milwaukee and eventually shut it down in the mid-70s. A local craft brewery in Toledo picked up the copyright to the name, and turned it into a great light style craft beer. At least its namesake is back home.

Editor's note: The Five questions with ... appears each Friday. If you would like to participate or would like to nominate someone to participate, send me an email at rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.