Andy Allgeyer is the co-founder and brewer at FigLeaf Brewing Co. in Middletown. The production brewery and tasting room opened in 2016.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: In the mid '90s, I started working for a family-owned wine and bottle shop in Lebanon. I was barely 21 years old when I started there and was originally brought on to help work behind the cash register. I had never seen so many beers from different countries before. This was right around the time some craft breweries were starting to pop up.
During the two years I worked there, the owner started hosting beer and food pairing dinners. We also did a lot of wine and dinner pairing dinners, as well. But over the course of working there, I was exposed to so much great European beer as well as a few craft American beers. I was really intrigued by the amount of different styles, colors, and flavors that these beers had compared to the macro beers I was drinking before I got the job. My curiosity sent me down another path to find out how I could make beer myself. I made a couple of batches of beer at a brew-on-premise place that used to be in Mason, Ohio. After that, I went into brewing beer and wine at home.
About five to six years ago, I started making a business plan up to open FigLeaf Brewing Co. and here we are today.
Q: What’s the story behind the name FigLeaf?
A: FigLeaf has a few meanings for us. The fig tree takes several years of tending before it bears fruit. But if you take care of that tree, it can bear fruit twice a year. We really like this parallel to business. Meaning it may take a few years to get solidly rooted in a community and to have people aware of your product. The meaning also parallels to returning customers. If the customer has a positive experience at the brewery in regards to the products and staff, they are more likely to return.
The fig leaf also has been used throughout history for censorship of sculptures and paintings. We felt that the craft brewing movement is a buck against the macro beer that has been dominate for so long.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends now?
A: My favorite trend is how creative brewers are getting with fruit, spices and different yeast strains to produce really interesting beers.
Least favorite trend is Brut IPA. I’ve had several of these beers from local breweries and from national brands. All were really well made but I just don’t care for the style. I understand how it’s made and can appreciate it, but it’s just not for me.
Q: What’s your best-selling beer and why do you think it’s so popular?
A: StarCrusher hazy DIPA. Why is it so popular? It’s a double IPA made with Mosaic and Galena hops.
Q: Which beer — any beer in the world — do you wish that you created/brewed and why?
A: Wow. Tough question. I enjoy so many different varieties of beer but I really love scotch ale wee heavy. I guess I’d have to go with Skull Splitter from Orkney Brewery.
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