Enrique Iglesias is the head brewer at Olentangy River Brewing Co. in Lewis Center. (And yes, that is his real name.) The 10-barrel brewery and tasting room opened in November. The Roosevelt Coffeehouse also operates a full-service coffee shop at the brewery.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: I’m from Puerto Rico and in 2007 the craft beer industry on the island was almost non-existent. Due to this, I started homebrewing out of necessity. After participating and winning a few awards as a homebrewer, I decided to open my own brewery.
Q: What's the story behind the name Olentangy?
A: The brewery is named after the nearby river and the area where we are located. Olentangy was a name given to this river in 1833 by a legislative act that was attempting to restore Native American names to certain rivers in the state. The word Olentangy literally means "River of Red Face Paint."
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends now?
A: My least favorite craft beer trend is Glitter Beer. I may try it but it doesn’t add flavor so I’m not interested in it as a style.
My favorite craft beer trend is barrel-aged beer due to the complexity the wooden barrel adds to the beer.
Q: Since Olentangy is still relatively new, I'll switch up this question that usually asks about your best-selling beer. If someone walks into the brewery today, has time for only one pint and asks for your best beer, what do you serve and why? (And assume that the customer enjoys all styles and no cheating by naming all your beers.)
A: At this moment, it would be the Belgian Aloha. This beer is a Belgian tripel with hibiscus. It’s a complex beer with 9.6 percent alcohol by volume, deep in flavor and easy to drink. In each sip, you are discovering new flavors which makes it an interesting beer. It’s rosé color gives it a distinctive and elegant look.
Q: Which beer — any beer in the world — do you wish that you created/brewed and why?
A: I would love to make one of the Westvleteren Trappist beers. I find the years of tradition and history impressive.
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