Brian Quade is the head brewer at Lager Heads Brewing Co. in Medina. He recently took over from Tom Robbins. Lager Heads, which has won medals at the Great American Beer Festival for its Oktoberfest and Smokie Robbins, operates a production brewery and taproom, and separate barbecue restaurant.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: I think the reason I decided to become a brewer was because of my dad. My dad worked for Boeing and due to the nature of his job we were always moving around. This led to him always being able to try new beers from around the country and world. My dad was always looking to find new breweries wherever we were and he would always bring me along. I became fascinated by all the shiny stainless tanks and the idea of making a quality product from raw ingredients.
Q: What's the story behind the name Lager Heads?
A: There is no real great story to the name Lager Heads, there was a list of names that the two [founding] brothers [Matt and Jon Kiene] came up with and Lager Heads was the one that they both liked. The two brothers wanted to sell quality BBQ food and craft beer. Eventually instead of buying different craft beers from around the country, they decided to start brewing their own beer and here we are some 11 or so years later still churning out beer and some tasty BBQ.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends now?
A: My least favorite craft beer trend without a question is adding glitter to beer. It makes absolutely no sense. My favorite trend right now in the industry is how far brewers are pushing the limits. There are so many out there beers being produced and I think it's helping craft beer gain a wider audience.
Q: What's your best-selling beer and why do you think it's so popular?
A: Our best-selling beer right now is Feeling Tangerous. It's a hazy IPA with Tangerine. I think the beer is so popular because it's refreshing and it has a great name.
Q: Which beer — any beer in the world — do you wish that you created/brewed and why?
A: I wish I could've been the brewer that created the New England IPA. I love the juice factor and it has become such a popular style in the last couple of years.
Editor's note: The Five questions with ... feature appears each Friday. If you would like to participate or would like to nominate someone to participate, send me an email at email@example.com.