Inside the Fermenting Mind of Drew Huerter, Head Brewer at Deep Ellum Brewing Company
Drew Huerter is the 28-year-old head brewer at Dallas' own Deep Ellum Brewing Company. How can such a young tyke have the burly discernment necessary for a proper brewer, you ask? Well actually, he has a long history in the business. Twenty-eight years, as a matter of fact. His mom and dad founded the Kansas City Beer Meisters the year he was born and his dad won a home brewing national title in 1984. It seems their baby was destined to be a hophead, and that he is.
Catherine Downes Drew Huerter
Recently I chatted with Huerter about their new bottling line, how he comes up with his brews and how cool it would have been to know him in college.
You have a new bottling line.
We'd been running on a little home brew contraption [which is why they so rarely bottle and sell beer in stores], but we just recently bought a used line from some friends of mine in Michigan -- Short's Brewing Company.
What's the first beer you'll bottle?
We're not sure exactly what the first one will be, but the first four will be the rye pils, Farmhouse Wit, IPA and Double Brown Stout. Those all should be launched about the same time.
DEBC recently released a new beer, Wealth and Taste, which was aged in wine oak barrels. ...
Yeah, we had them lined up here and they actually classed-up the joint a bit.
Had you aged beer in barrels before?
When I was in Schlafly we did a quarterly release of a bourbon barrel imperial stout. And also when I was there I ran a tiny nano-brewery called Mattingly Brewery Company, and I started a sour barrel program there called Funky Friday the Thirteenth with one of the same barrels. So, I took a Jim Beam barrel [and] aged an imperial stout at one brewery, then took that barrel to another brewery and put a Belgian style dubbel in it and inoculated it with wild yeast and bacteria and let it sit for nine months. The idea was that every Friday 13th we'd pull some out and put it on tap. Unfortunately the place closed after just one.
How do you come up with your beers?
Some deep dark secret corner of my subconscious, I suppose.
Actually I draw different areas, whether it's other brewers or other art forms that I appreciate, such as music or the culinary arts.
Sometimes it's a seemingly clever idea. One day I was passing through the airport and saw a sign about blackout dates and I thought, "Blackout dates? I want to brew a beer called that."
Others have been inspired by musical groups or literary characters.
Did your dad teach you the tricks of the trade?
Yes, he's a home-brewer and taught me how to brew. He actually recently brewed his 300th batch. He won a national title in 1984 when I was just 1.