Brandon Fields is the co-founder and brewer at Inside the Five Brewing Co. in Sylvania. Fields, a former NFL punter, his wife Katie and former NFL offensive lineman Chris Morris opened the brewpub last year. Fields and Morris both played football together at Michigan State University.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: It all started when my wife, Katie, gave me a basic homebrewing kit for my birthday 14 years ago. I very quickly went from brewing pre-made recipes to crafting my own. I fell in love with taking different ingredients, putting them together in different ways, and creating something unique to share with family and friends. When I was getting close to retiring from the NFL, Katie and I discussed what we were passionate about — making beer. That is when our journey to open up a brewery started.
Q: What's the story behind the name Inside the Five?
A: Our brewery name Inside The Five Brewing comes from the past careers of both Chris Morris and myself. Both of us played college football together at Michigan State University. Chris went on to get drafted by the Oakland Raiders as an offensive lineman and went on to play five seasons in the NFL. I was drafted by the Miami Dolphins as a punter and played nine seasons in the NFL before retiring. As an NFL punter, my ultimate goal when I took the field was to punt the football and pin the opposing team inside their own five yard line. Because of our unique pasts, we wanted to pay homage to it and took on the mantra that when it comes to our beer, our food, our service, we want everything to be “Inside The Five."
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends now?
A: My favorite trends in craft beer right now are the hyper local focus of consumers and New England IPAs. There are a lot of great small breweries that have been opening up in the last few years. Seeing consumers seek out what the local craft breweries have to offer has been great to grow craft beer as a whole. The New England IPA trend has been good because it allows breweries to showcase the vast flavors of hops to both IPA and non-IPA drinkers who may traditionally stay away from high IBU beers.
My least favorite craft beer trend is the Brut IPA. I am just not a big fan of the style and think that most of the ones that I have tried have muted flavors of what the IPA could provide.
Q: What's your best-selling beer and why do you think it's so popular?
A: Our two most popular beers right now are Sunshine Sky and The Devil Wears Hoodies. Sunshine Sky is a lemon and orange American Wheat Ale, it is very light and refreshing with a good balance between the lemon and orange citrus notes while still maintaining its core beer characteristics. The Devil Wears Hoodies is a New England IPA with a slight haze that presents an abundance of fruit and juicy flavors and is very smooth to drink. Both of these beers no matter the time of year are refreshing, easy to drink, and appeal to a wide range of craft beer fans.
Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/brewed and why?
A: Pliny The Elder. I think it is one of the few beers that I have had that has lived up to the hype surrounding it. With my wife, Katie, being one of the three owners and an instrumental part of our early success, I also am a fan of what they created as a culture and a business being a husband and wife duo.
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