Cameron Lloyd is the brewer and co-founder of Endeavor Brewing Co. in Columbus. The Endeavor brewery started out as Zauber Brewing but has been renamed and refocused under the new ownership.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I taught fourth- through eighth-grade English and science at a small private school. I'm one of those people who taught for three years, brushed their hands, and said, "Not for me. I'm done."

At the time, I was homebrewing. I realized that I had a knack and mindset for producing good beer. In my first six months of homebrewing, I had people with six years in my homebrew club asking me tips and advice for procedures on some of my beers.

I took that idea from teaching that I wanted to do something that I feel really contributes to my community. I see brewing, breweries, and pubs as centers of society and community. Brewing gives me the opportunity to make people's days just a bit better.

I realized that homebrewing and production brewing are very different animals, and decided to become a professional brewer after less than a year of homebrewing. I got accepted to go to the Certified Master Brewer course at Versuchs und Lehrenstalt fur Brauerei (VLB) in Berlin, Germany. I have since had the opportunity to work and learn at a number of excellent breweries around the country including August Schell's (the second-oldest brewing company in the U.S.) and North Coast Brewing.

Q: What's the story behind the name Endeavor?

A: When the group of us who founded this company got together, we talked about what we had in common and cared about ... besides beer. We realized we were all people who have done a lot of traveling that has affected us profoundly. We wanted a company and a brand that invoked that sense of
exploration that has been so important to all of us.

Q: The craft beer industry is getting quite crowded, especially in big cities in Ohio. How do you try to distinguish your brewery from others in such a competitive market?

A: I have a philosophy that guides the beers I create: "The best beers reward attention, but do not demand it."

This leads us to focus on making beer styles like pilsner, wheat beers, Irish stout, and Belgian strong ales that are welcoming and offer something enjoyable for all people. We do not feel compelled to take part in the IPA arms race. We make beers that are eminently drinkable to sit and throw back for hours with friends at our taproom or a tailgate, but that a connoisseur will pick out the complexity and nuance of flavor in styles that require a lot of care and technique to execute well.

Think of it like music. The best music is arguably poppy, but with a real artistic sense. It's David Bowie, The Beatles, Prince. Everyone sings along with "Bohemian Rhapsody." You don't need to be a music student to appreciate how wonderful that song is, but if you are, you can fully appreciate how incredible it is. In a market where people seem to be still trying to outdo each other by who can play heavy metal harder, louder, and faster, I'm looking to do things that are even more complex in a style that is a bit quieter and more welcoming.

We also make a point of really tying our beers to locations where we have traveled to and experienced the drinking culture there, enjoying beers in their natural habitats, not just reading style descriptions in books and trying to figure out what they mean. Whether that be a mild cask ale in England, or Kolsch at the Fruh biergarten in Cologne, or hanging out at the Bayerischer Bahnhof Gosebraurei in Leipzig.

Q: What's your best-selling beer and why do you think it's so popular?

A: Our Latin Lager. It exemplifies that "Reward attention, but do not demand it," ethos. Although the American pilsner is often maligned and looked down on, it is the most popular style in the world for good reason. We've taken what makes that style good from my experience at Schell's brewing 1860 style adjunct lagers, and injected complexity and flavor of the craft pilsners I was enjoying at small brewpubs in Berlin.

Our Latin Lager has that pilsner crushability, but has a surprisingly complex malt bill and is subtly dry hopped with New Zealand hops that lend it a hint of lime zest aroma to invoke the idea of a Mexican lager on the beach, but done artfully. It is perfect for anyone who just wants a good beer. It appeals to people who are coming to craft beer from larger offerings - domestic or import - and also to people who have been drinking craft beer for a long time, have ridden the IPA roller coaster up to the top and back down again, and now want a beer they can simply enjoy without wrecking their pallets but that has the quality and complexity they have come to expect.

It also really has a strong story that shows off who we are and our sense of travel and commitment to bringing that into all of the beers. One of our founders, Scott, lived in Chile for a while and has climbed mountains there. In honor of that experience, we source our base malt from a maltster in Patagonia in the south of Chile. With South American base malt, American corn, German Vienna malt, and German and New Zealand hops ... we really are making a point of bringing the whole world into the glass. But you don't need to know that story to appreciate how good the beer is.

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

A: There really isn't one. I'm not really envious of other's success. I'm just glad *someone* has created all of the wonderful beers I have and do enjoy. I relish the challenge of differentiating myself from the beers and brewers that have inspired me.

I suppose I wish I had some of the resources or facilities to do some projects I really admire other people having done that I admire - the environment of Cantillon, the caves and foeders of Schell's Berlinerweisse cellar, or any number of other excellent projects ... but those each have a history and personality unique to them. We'll eventually build up to do fun projects like those in the future, and we'll have the opportunity to do them in a way that really expresses who we are.

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.