Brewer Q&A: Tyler and the Giant Peach

At the heart of each beer we do, are our brewers and their ingenious ideas. With the release of our new Peach Berliner Weisse, I sat down with one of those ingenious bastards – Tyler Thurman – to talk about his career and his beer.

Dan Shapiro: So tell us, how did you get into brewing?  

Tyler Thurman: In college, I was always trying to avoid the macro beers. But what kicked it off was a trip to Napa – I thought we would just be drinking wine, but half the people I was with were really into beer. We ended up going to Russian River, and at the time I thought I didn’t even like hops. But at Russian River, I was like, “Oh wow – this is beer, this is awesome!”

Tyler lookin’ just peachy.

And then right when Eagle Rock Brewery opened, I volunteered to help with them because I wanted to do something fun. It was a 13 hour day – brutal! And somehow, I still wanted to do it. So I started homebrewing.

DS: What were you doing before?

TT: I was a civil engineer.

DS: Do you find there’s some relationship with civil engineering and beer?

TT: A little bit. Some of the processes – I definitely have an engineering mind, I’m very logical. Troubleshooting was a huge thing I had to do – that’s basically all I did when I was engineering. That’s definitely something that carries over when making beer.  

DS: How did you get your start with Angel City?

TT: I got started out with the internship. It was kind of lucky. I had applied twice, didn’t get it either time. But the second time, I got a nice email back, so I replied saying, “Thank you so much for responding, it’s rare to ever hear back on these things.” And then I got a phone call about an hour later saying, “The person we had chosen for this internship just backed out, do you still want it? It starts in two weeks.” I was like…yes.

DS: Have you bought a beer for whoever backed out?

TT: No, I should have!

Peaches we brewed with from Giumarra Bros. Fruit Co.

DS: What excites you about making beer?  

TT: I just love making new stuff. And I love being able to say, “Here, try this.” It’s always fun to sit at the bar and not say anything, but listen to what people say, good or bad.

DS: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve heard at the bar?

TT: Oh man, there’s been some crazy ones. Someone will pick out a flavor that I’ve never heard someone describe about a beer. And then I’ll try it and be like, “No, I don’t get it – but good for you.”

DS: So what makes the Peach Berliner Weisse special?  

TT: The crazy amount of peach in it. There’s just a crapload of peach in there. It plays really well with the Berliner style. I don’t know what it is, but you get this almost bready character that I love.

DS: Why peach?

TT: We tried a bunch of stuff. We made a ton of different trials with all these different fruits. But peach was the best. It’s crazy, some of the ones we tried – I think it was Kiwi – I thought it would be really interesting. But it was awful. The peach was the all-time favorite.

DS: You’ve got a living room full of guests, you’ve got a fridge full of Peach Berliner – what do you serve them?  

peach with glass
Bottled and ready to bring home!

TT: Ooh…I hate cooking. But I do love to eat. I think a nice salad, or some cheese. I’m thinking like appetizers.

DS: You’re a very cheap host.

TT: Yes. Maybe some fish, too.

DS: If you could be anywhere on earth with a glass of Peach Berliner, where would you be?  

TT: The beach. I mean, that goes with almost any beer. But yeah, just kicking it on the beach – maybe surfing in Malibu?

You can try the Peach Berliner on tap at the Public House or find it in 22oz. bottles in the retail shop and at craft beer stores around town starting July 15th!