Joshua Anderson of Saloon Door Brewing
105 Magellan Circle, Webster, TX 77598
Favorite Texas brewed beer? This is a moving target and I have several favorites that range across many styles. Lately I have been really into the brews that Brash has put out, specifically their EZ-7 pale (really good brew) which was just bumped back by their Fancy Sauce IPA (even better). I could see my fridge stocked with plenty of these on a regular basis.
Favorite non-Texas brewed beer? I’m going to stick with the same style since I recently had the Free State Bora Bora IPA last Christmas and it was truly amazing. It was one of those beers I knew I would miss as soon as I went back home and would love to homebrew a clone. The nose was unlike anything I had ever tried before and I pray that it is as fresh in a can as it was on draft. There are also so many non-Texas brewed beers that I have yet to try and I almost always wait to try them close to their home before making a final judgement.
Your favorite beer to brew and/or your favorite beer that you brew? At home I loved to brew really big beers (10% – 14% ABV) that you could age for several years in the bottle to see how they would change or even improve over their lifespan. It was exciting to try a vertical of an old ale, imperial stout or barley wine that I had brewed and aged over 3-4 years. As a commercial brewer I haven’t been at it long enough to really say which recipe is my favorite. Right now I am having so much fun learning my system, making mistakes, tweaking new recipes, and developing new ones that it will take some time to honestly answer this question. I still think that the rare imperial or strong ale will be my favorite brew because it just feels like a special occasion to make something so rich and complex.
What beer styles or classifications do you feel could possibly be overlooked by local beer enthusiasts? I would guess that styles like ESB, Brown, and Saison are sometimes overlooked, but maybe they aren’t brewed enough in certain areas. I think today their are so many choices that locals really have some serious options for exploring craft beer and that is what makes this industry so exciting for me.
Describe a Bucket List setting or event where you hope to enjoy a beer one-day? I would love to make an extended world tour vacation that allows some amazing traveling experience with the potential to try some epic brews as close to their production site as possible. Travel the world and tour breweries…..now that sounds like a great retirement plan to me.
Describe your favorite setting or event which you have enjoyed a beer? Sharing a growler of beer from a local brewery with my friends and family while shooting off fireworks during the 4th of July.
The last and/or most interesting job you held before becoming a professional brewer. I was a chemical engineer for 13 years working in Petrochemicals, which was a very process oriented job. I am a very detailed person and the job suited me for several years, but it was missing the passion I had for home brewing near the end of that 13 year run. It is pretty convenient that process engineering is very similar to commercial brewing and quite a bit of my degree applies to the daily activity in a brewery.
Words of advice to anyone hoping to turn their passion of brewing and beer into a career. If you don’t have commercial brewing experience or a very limited amount (like myself) I would recommend hiring or making very good friends with a professional brewer. Having those contacts will avoid so many mistakes that could be detrimental to your product. I was very intimidated by our 10 BBL system, but having somebody to train with for the first couple of batches shortened the learning curve by several batches. It was a huge bonus for our grand opening to have our first batches turn out very well, which also required a little bit of luck.
“The state of the Texas craft beer scene is…. growing faster than the yeast in our fermenters
Favorite perk of working in a brewery is I get to quickly enjoy a product that I helped to create by hand. The product is more tangible than anything I have had the opportunity to work with and seems to be almost universally accepted as something cool by other people.
Least favorite aspect of working in a brewery is I have to deal with the Texas heat in a brew house with no AC……at least we have the walk in cooler nearby.
If you had to start working in one other brewery starting tomorrow which brewery would it be and why? It would be Free State in Lawrence Kansas because my wife would make sure we were close to her family. I have already been told my children are going to be Jayhawks so it would make the most sense to work there, plus I have respected and enjoyed their beer and food for the past 8 years and a little behind the scenes action would be pretty cool.