Matthew Utter is the co-founder and brewer at HighGrain Brewing Co. in Silverton, a Cincinnati suburb. The brewpub, which opened in May, is located in the former Silverton Memorial Municipal Building.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I became a brewer for multiple reasons. First reason is, my grandfather was a brewer at the Wiedemann brewery in Newport, Kentucky, for over 20 years. In 1999, I moved to Munich, Germany, to pursue my German fluency degree and master's in brewery technology and beverage production.

Q: What's the story behind the name HighGrain?

A: The story behind HighGrain is pretty simple. Grain is the soul of beer and we want to keep everything at our facility to the highest standards and quality.

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends now?

A: I would have to say my favorite trend right now is the return of the pilsner. It is also a favorite style of mine. My least favorite trends would probably be the competition of ABV and some of the adjuncts that definitely just do not belong in a beverage called beer.

Q: If I stopped into your brewery, had time for only one pint and asked you to hand me a beer, assuming that I enjoy all styles, what would you serve me and why? (In other words, what do you consider your best beer. And no cheating and saying all your beers.)

A: I am most proud of our Bavarian hefeweizen (called Isar Weiss). During my tenure in Germany, I worked at a brewery called König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg. There, we specialized in hefeweizen beers. It is truly my favorite style. I am happy the way this one turned out.

Q: Which beer — any beer in the world — do you wish that you created/brewed and why?

A: I’m not sure I wish I would’ve created any other beer that I have not made. But if I had to choose one, it would be Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Such an iconic brand and style that opened my eyes to craft beer in the U.S. Definitely my desert island beer.

 

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