Fireside Chat with Bob Yeaw, Creator of Airship Ale
The first kegs of Airship Ale, our third beer as a co-op, will be hitting beer bars around Seattle this weekend. Watch our Facebook feed for clues on where to find it!
Airship Ale was brewed as a collaboration between Flying Bike and Machine House Brewery. The recipe was selected by a panel of member-owners at a competition earlier this year. We encourage all co-op members to participate in these events. It's how we build our book of excellent recipes! And don't forget, our next competition is happening this Fall! Who will be our next winner?
Board Member Kevin Badger sat down with the creator of the Airship Ale recipe and winner of the competition for a little chat. Congratulations, Bob!
Kevin Badger: Where are you from and how long have you lived in Seattle? Any words about your day job, or something you especially love about this city?
Bob Yeaw: I grew up in White Center/Burien and currently live in North Seattle with my darling wife and 11yo puppy. I earned a Fine Arts degree from UW with a focus in Ceramics and work as a software tester at F5 networks.
KB: How long have you been homebrewing?
BY: My first batch was around 1996 - I was too young to buy beer, so I thought I'd make it instead. I had a copy of 'The Complete Joy of Homebrewing' and brewed 5 gallon extract and a few partial mash batches while my Parents were out of the house. I stopped brewing once I turned 21 and picked it back up again about 4 years ago, when we moved into our house.
KB: How many times had you brewed this Pale Ale recipe before you entered the competition? What did you call this Pale Ale?
BY: I brewed one test batch to try to dial in an interesting and balanced hop profile. I rebrewed with some tweaks and this was the beer I entered.
I'm terrible at naming beers. 'ABC Pale' came from the use of Amarillo, Belma, Centennial, Chinook and Citra hops. Airship Ale is a much better name!
KB: This beer has quite a hop profile - how did you arrive at that mix? What is your favorite aspect of the beer?
BY: Belma hops had just come out recently, I had a pound of pellets and I was intrigued by the description: "A very clean hop, with a very orange, slight grapefruit, tropical pineapple, strawberry, and melon aroma". I hoped the floral/citrus from Amarillo and Centennial would play well with the belma and thought a bit of pine/resin from the Chinook might be nice - to dirty it up a bit. I dry hopped with a bit of citra, hoping to it would blend with some of the tropical aromas from the Belma hops.
I was happy with it - it's easy to drink a bunch of it!
KB: Did you think you had a strong shot at winning when you entered?
BY: I've been entering and judging competitions for a couple years now, and I've learned that you can never tell. I thought it was a pretty good example of the style.