Logan Williams is the head brewer at Homestead Beer Co. The Heath brewery recently celebrated its sixth anniversary.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: I’ve always liked creating things from scratch and building things with my hands. Pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted to do for a living has involved creating things. And, I think that’s probably why I started homebrewing. I’ve always been interested in how things work, and being creative, so it just made sense to start making my own beer at home. And, there are so many historic beer styles and new, emerging beer styles that it would take forever to run out of new things to try as a brewer, which keeps it fun.
Q: What's the story behind the name Homestead?
A: Ah, that's above my pay grade but I believe it has to do with our ownership setting up a Homestead here in Ohio as they hail from other parts of the country.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends right now?
A: I’m a big fan of all the New England hazys that are coming out right now. I love a full-bodied, fruity IPAs. People are infusing them with different fruits and high adjunct content (oats, wheat, flaked barley, etc.) As a brewer, it’s fun to be able to get really creative with the beer and not worry about the clarity of the beer.
My least favorite “trend” right now is just the lack of traditional beer styles that I’m seeing around. There’s a brewery near me that does German lagers, almost exclusively. It’s one of my favorite spots because lagers have become a bit of a rarity in craft beer over the past few years. I’d love to see some German styles make a comeback.
Q: What's your best-selling beer and why do you think it's so popular?
A: Well, our best-selling beers are our IPAs, since the market for them is so strong. But our amber, Tenpenny, does very well for the style. It's just a really great, well-balanced complex ale.
One thing that drew me to Homestead’s beer originally, before I was a brewer here, was how well balanced the beers were. Especially the IPAs. Between the residual sweetness of the malt and the hop aroma/flavor and bitterness, I could always tell that balancing everything meticulously was really important for Homestead. A lot of IPAs that I've had are a bit too dry, too bitter or maybe the dry hop could be backed off a bit.
When creating a beer like that, I think it's easy for brewers to get excited about using a ton of fun hops, and they forget about that overall balance that should always be there. Galactic Heroes is one of the prime examples of how that balance can still exist, even in an IPA.
I think people appreciate that aspect of our beers.
Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/brewed and why?
A: Really, I wish I was the first guy to decide to put beer into a bourbon barrel. Barrel-aged stouts and barleywines are such amazing styles that really showcase how drastically different a beer can be in an industry full of IPAs. To go from a bitter American IPA to a good barrel-aged imperial stout really shows what grain brings to the table and how big the beer style spectrum really is. It's nice to let the hops take the backseat every once in a while.
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