The 2012 Great American Beer Fest (GABF) is only a few weeks away. I though I might celebrate that fact by finally posting some of the video interviews we shot at last year’s festival. I’ll kick it off with an interview with Pete Crowley, Brewmaster at the Haymarket Pub & Brewery in Chicago.
I first met Pete in 2009. I had passed the Certified Cicerone exam just a few months before and saw Cicerone Certification Program founder Ray Daniels chatting with someone across the bar at the Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub. That someone was Pete Crowley, who at the time was head brewer at the Chicago Rock Bottom. During our conversation I made the mistake of referencing “house beers” at the Rock Bottom Chain. At that time – unbeknownst to me – the Rock Bottom chain had no system-wide house beers. The brewer at each location had nearly total control of what they brewed. Having revealed my ignorance, Pete proceeded to roundly dress me down for at least 10 minutes.
Fast forward to 2011. I’m in Chicago doing a two-month theatre residency with men in a halfway house on Chicago’s West Side. I happened also to be doing brewery visits for my upcoming (at some point, I promise) Upper-Midwest Brewery Guide. Haymarket had just opened, and happened to be within walking distance of the halfway house. Needless to say, I was a frequent visitor. I had the opportunity to engage in many, more-civil conversations with Pete and to share a few beers along the way. Haymarket quickly became – along with Goose Island Clybourn – my second “Chicago office.”