Rob Shipp is the head brewer at Stein Brewing Co. in Mount Vernon. The brewpub opened in December in the restored Woodward Opera House.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: This opportunity came to me from the general manager of Stein Brewing Co. I always saw the beer kits that you see in the store and thought it was really intriguing and interesting but didn’t think I would have the time with a family and two young boys.
When this opportunity came to me and I went with the owner and GM to another site that has the same system that we have and got to work with the system and put a beer on, I thought to myself this is awesome and I think I can do this. I always loved beer. In the beginning, it was the typical domestic beer until I found the light of craft beer and IPAs.
Now I get to create beer that I enjoy and am able to show the town of Mount Vernon, Ohio, that there is more to beer than your typical Coors Light.
Q: What's the story behind the name Stein?
A: The story behind Stein Brewing Co. is the owner's last name in Stein.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends now?
A: My favorite beer trends are hazy IPAs. More IBUs is what I enjoy. I am not a big fan of the Brut IPAs. I feel that it’s a sour but trying to be an IPA.
Q: What is your best-selling beer and why do you think it's so popular?
A: Right now, we have a hazy, juicy IPA called MVHJIPA (Mount Vernon Hazy Juicy IPA). IPAs are the big thing over the last few years and introducing the hazy to the mix just made them bigger. Ours is not too overly hoppy and has the citrus hint of grapefruit and orange peel.
Right next to that is our Becca Blueberry and Becca Kolsch. In Mount Vernon, we had to adapt to the town and carry domestic but these two beers are our way to start people off with a craft beer that taste like a domestic. Nine times out of 10, someone who comes in asking for a domestic, we offer him or her a taste of ours and they will stick with our beer.
Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/brewed and why?
A: I have had some great beers and it is really hard to choose. Being a big IPA fan, there are a lot to choose from. Fat Head's Hop JuJu and Millersburg French Ridge are my favorites off the top of my head because they are two different styles being an imperial and a standard IPA. To say I had a hand in making either one of these beers would be an honor because they aren’t too over the top. Hop JuJu, being a 9 percent beer, doesn’t taste like one. It is very smooth, even though the IBUs are 100. French Ridge has the same smoothness but hits you with a little bite.
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