December 25, 2012 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Chef, baker, vintner, cheesemaker, distiller, brewer. All require incredible talent and painstaking skill to climb the higher rungs within their respective arts. Look at the titles again and to an extent, I’m betting your definitions of each are likely fairly superficial—a baker makes pastries, a vintner makes wine, a brewer makes beer, etc.—and that’s fine if they were. Each is given to an individual discipline, and all are bent on pleasing people, and for good reason. After all, these tradesmen and women are asking John Q. Public to trade his hard-earned cash for their well-crafted product.

But if you take a closer look at these professions and think a bit deeper…about how broad their fields of expertise must be to excel…you realize on second thought that a winemaker, for example, has quite a few different wines to master as part of their repertoire. The brewer? Hopefully, you were able to come up with a few different styles given your own personal experiences. And it’s quite alright if you couldn’t name 10 different styles or 40 or 75…That’s why I’m writing this column.

My name is Paul Kavulak, and I’m a brewpub owner, along with my wife, Kim. Within the confines of this article and this magazine, we’ll explore the world that has become craft beer. I’m not here to judge other brewpubs or dwell too long on any given facet of brewing but rather to educate and enlighten readers on all the varieties of beer—beer that is made by small, independent, and privately owned breweries focused entirely on the quality of their products, the enjoyment of their fans, and the education and inclusion of so many of you who may not have already joined the ranks of the craft beer movement.

Already a fan? Fantastic. Together, we’ll learn a bit more than we knew yesterday. No one likes a lecturer, so I intend to push my own envelope and take you along for the ride. Join me.