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Life Lessons From a Brewmaster
“This above all, to thine own self be true.”
Words to live by, especially when “thine own self” is leaving politics and becoming a brewmaster!
Our friend Rob Mullin, Brewmaster at Grand Teton Brewing, began hearing the whispers of old Will Shakespeare on a Sunday afternoon back in 1990. His girlfriend had bought him a brew kit for his birthday, and while licking the wounds inflicted by the savage political jungle, he decided to take home brewing for a test drive. Eight hours later, after finishing his first batch of delicious dry stout, Rob was hooked.
So ended a successful career in politics, and so began a wonderful adventure in the world of craft brewing.
Rob started, quite literally, at the ground level and worked his way up. At Old Dominion Brewing in Virginia he scrubbed floors, drove delivery trucks, and became schooled under greats like John Mallet (Bells Brewing) and Ron Barchet (Victory Brewing). There he learned the unique ways of brewing American beer and the traditional techniques of brewing German beer. Later, beer science, technology, and culture were blended for Rob at the Siebel Institute in Chicago where his 30 classmates represented 13 different countries. And at Trap Rock Brewing in New Jersey, Rob had the great fortune of working with one the country’s leading chefs and learning the finer points of pairing beer with food.
Put it all together and you have a philosophy of experimentation, open-mindedness and collaboration.
In 2002, he and his family moved to the mountains and Rob took his place as Brewmaster at Grand Teton. Today, beer lovers in fifteen states are grateful that Rob’s candidate lost.
We caught up with Rob a couple of weeks ago, and decided to ask him a few of life’s more meaningful questions:
Bill Boelter: Dead or alive, who would you like to sit down and have a beer with?
Rob Mullin: My Dad. He died a couple of years ago, and he was always really excited about what I was doing. I know he would be excited about what I’m doing now, and I really wish I could share it with him. What better drink is there to share with a friend? Drinking beer is all about being social and being part of a community.
BB: What’s the best brewing advice anyone ever gave you?
RM: Beer is all about precision. Take the time to do it right. Like carpentry: measure twice, cut once.
BB: Brewing bad beer, crime or sin?
RM: If a bad beer is brewed, a higher moral judge than man must be called upon…so…sin.
BB: What’s your life motto?
RM: Do what you love. Love what you do. Love who you’re with and everyone is happy.
Something tells us…beer in hand…even Mr. Shakespeare would agree.
Thanks for sharing a little of your story.
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