The first Asheville Beer Masters Tournament (modeled after the Wyncoop Beer Drinker of the Year and Philly Beer Geek competitions) was a sudsy success. The winner, Asheville Beer Master Trevor Reis, talked to me about his success, Asheville beer, why Green Man Brewing’s double IPA should be Mayor of Asheville and more.
Xpress: Tell us who you are, what you do, where you’re from, and what you want to be when you grow up?
Reis: I am the Asheville Beer Master, Trevor Reis. I have lived in Asheville for 10 years after moving here from Aspen, Colorado. I currently work at Highland Brewing Co. bartending and giving brewery tours at 4 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays. I also work at The Watchmaker's Shop in downtown Asheville, where I’m learning to repair and service all types of watches. I was born on a farm in Colorado that produced 100 acres of barley for Coors, and my grandfather worked for six years constructing a Budweiser factory in Newark, N.J., but I rarely drink these beers.
When I grow up, I would like to do exactly what I am doing now, except I’d like to make more money. I can name you an Asheville beer that is appropriate for any situation that you might find yourself in when drinking a beer is appropriate …
How/when did you first become involved with craft beer?
I became involved with craft beer in the early ‘90s when I stumbled across an ad in the back of a magazine selling home- brewing kits by mail. I ordered one and then brewed a Continental Pilsner in my parents' kitchen. I was 15 years old. I’ve been interested in craft beer ever since. Asheville has been the launching pad for taking my knowledge to the next level.
Why did you decide to compete in the ABM tournament?
I thought it sounded like fun. And it was. Pretty simple thought process there.
What was your favorite part of the tourney and why?
My favorite parts of the tournament were the qualifying round blind tasting and campaigning for an Asheville beer for mayor in the final round. The blind tasting was fun — you think you know Asheville beers, but when you have to identify them by taste, it can be difficult. Successfully doing so is rewarding (so is the free beer). I enjoyed campaigning for a beer for Mayor in the final round because we got to express what we individually felt was important in a person who would be responsible for leading this city.
Why do you think Asheville is such a happening beer city?
Asheville is Beer City, USA for the third year in a row. Really, people all over drink lots of beer, but in other places it tends to be brewed by corporate beer giants. In Asheville, we tend to drink beer made in Asheville by our great breweries and by our own citizens at home. This is a place where people come to experience life on their own terms and they tend to be creative individuals who support each other and recognize when someone has poured their heart and soul into creating something unique.
You selected The Truth Double IPA from Green Man Brewing to run for Mayor of Asheville. Why?
I selected The Truth because "clearly" it would be "refreshing" to have a politician who gave us "the truth." The Truth here is that the craft beer community in Asheville has not lost sight of the big picture, which is that it's about the people on the streets, not on the greenbacks.
Now that The Truth is Mayor, what should be on the agenda?
Legalizing happy hour, expanding public transportation until after the bars close with twice as many buses running, keeping our water (the No. 1 ingredient in craft beer) clean and affordable.
Who would The Truth like to thank for his support?
The Truth would like to thank Asheville! The Truth would also like to thank all the judges, participants, spectators, breweries, supporting businesses and Mary Eliza McRae for organizing the first annual Asheville Beer Masters Tournament. The Truth would especially like to thank Jack of the Wood for their support as well as Green Man Brewing. Look for my new Beer Master tap at Jack of the Wood soon.
What are your duties as the first ever ABM? What would you like to do with your "Miss America" year?
My duties will include continuing to learn about beer and brewing and sharing this knowledge. Look for an Asheville Beer Master blog or social network page soon to facilitate this. I would also like to start an "Asheville Beer Masters Series" of beers which can be brewed by any local breweries interested and each can be sold as a benefit for some local charity. That would be awesome!
Think you’re a potential Beer Master? See how many of these questions you can answer correctly (the next ABM tournament will begin in January 2012. Start studying).
What local brewery uses whole oysters in their stout?
What is the name of the North Carolina brewery whose owner formerly was a philosophy professor?
What was the name of the original brewery in the Asheville Pizza and Brewing location on Merrimon Ave.?
Who is the ancient Sumerian Goddess of Beer?
What is the highest alcohol by volume percentage made in a beer to date?
Name the brewer of the Oatmeal Stout that is brewed with coffee made from the droppings of a weasel-like civet cat?
When you’re looking at a beer’s SRM, what are you looking for?
The process of controlled germination and drying performed on barley to prepare it for brewing is known as _______?
What beer’s tagline is “It’s the Water”?
Name two types of hops whose names start with the letter “c.”
Oyster House Brewing
Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Farmville, NC.
Two Moons Brew-N-View
55 percent- Brew Dog Brewery’s “The End of History”
The malting process.
Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Citra, Crystal, Cluster, Columbus.