Jeff Cosgrove is the co-founder and brewer at 16 Lots Brewing Co. in Mason. The brewpub, which operates with a 10-barrel system, opened in September 2017.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: In 1995, I was in graduate school at the University of Minnesota and starting to discover craft beer primarily from Summit Brewing in St. Paul. I would go to a bar across the street from the brewery and they would often have test batches available to try.
My longtime friend discovered a homebrew store in St. Paul and we started brewing in his kitchen. The enjoyment of discovering that there were so many different styles of beer that you could make yourself and the fact that I’m a chemical engineer made this the perfect hobby for me.
Q: What’s the story behind 16 Lots?
A: In 1803, Revolutionary War veteran Major William Mason purchased 640 acres of land between the Little and Great Miami rivers on Muddy Creek. That land was platted out into 16 lots and is what became Mason, Ohio.
All of our beers are named with this Mason theme in mind. A few of our flagship beers are The Major (German pilsner), Muddy Creek (oatmeal stout) and 1803 (American pale ale). Most recently we named our strong American brown ale Harley Brunk. Harley was a World War I veteran who founded the American Legion Post here in Mason. We do a lot of work with the Legion Post in Mason and we were fortunate to have Harley’s grandson and the Legion color guard here for the keg tapping.
We are pleased to be a part of the Mason community and are dedicated to giving back. We donate 50 cents per pint of our William Mason Comet Ale (Mason High School are the Comets) to the Mason Schools Foundation.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite beer trends right now?
A: I love the fact that here in Cincinnati there are so many breweries opening up in the suburbs. I know here at 16 Lots we are introducing craft beer to many people for the first time and I love it when somebody tries a beer that is outside of their normal paradigm and they tell me how much they enjoy it.
I don’t really have a least favorite as I think everything we all do is great, but I just don’t enjoy sour beers myself so can’t truly appreciate them.
Q: What’s your best-selling beer and why is it so popular?
A: Soak City our New England-style juicy IPA was so popular from the first batch that we made it a flagship beer. I believe the lighter body and restrained bitterness coupled with the hop flavors and aromas that result from the combination I use are the leading factors. I dry hop the beer at 2 pounds per barrel to put it over the top and people love it.
Q: Which beer — any beer — any beer in the world-do you wish you created and why?
A: Chimay Grand Reserve Belgian Dark Strong (Blue Label). I just think this beer has so many wonderful things going on from the complex malt profile and the flavor components from the yeast that it is the best beer I’ve ever had. The first time I tried to emulate it in my basement I had a wonderful brew day and couldn’t wait to get it on tap. I was extremely disappointed when it was fairly lackluster. I kept trying it over the next week and didn’t enjoy it so I took it off and put it in my basement. About six months later, I was short on beer and decided to put it back on and it was one of the best beers I ever made. It took a while for everything to come together but it was worth the wait.
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