Josh Martinez is the brewer and founder of Pretentious Barrel House in Columbus. Pretentious, which opened last year, is dedicated to producing sour beers.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I became a brewer for the same reason as my peers: a love for both creating and enjoying beer. It takes a special blend of determination (willingness to spend hours cleaning and scrubbing) and arrogance (belief that even though there are thousands of brewers making awesome beers, yours will somehow be special) to keep pushing the envelope on creativity and execution.

Q: What's the story behind the brewery name Pretentious Barrel House?

A: I can’t take credit for the name. For several months, the working title in my business plan was (xxxxxx Barrel House). My wife at some point said I should call it "Pretentious," making a joke about the craft beer industry. We both had a good laugh, and I put it in as a working title. The more I said it, the more I liked it, and eventually it stuck. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously.

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

A: My favorite trend is the growth of craft lager. My least is probably milkshake IPAs.

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

A: Sybarite with Raspberries is consistently a fan favorite. It is our sour red ale aged in wine barrels for at least four months. The beer is then transferred to a stainless steel tank where it is dosed with 2.5 pounds of raspberry puree per gallon of beer. The yeast and bacteria will ferment the sugars under pressure for the next four to five weeks. The resulting beer is acidic (sour), refreshing and smells of freshly crushed raspberries. Our customers cannot get enough.

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

A: This is probably the only question I don't really have an answer for. I personally don’t covet anyone’s beers, and I don’t wish that I created them. Sometimes I wish I made non-sour beer because the idea of being able to create a product in under a month sounds mythical. At the end of the day, I hope to one day create beer that has so much hype that people are willing to line up for it. We all want to create a beer that sells well enough that we can sustain our passion.

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