Introducing Dylan. With his new shoes on he entered the 30 degree warehouse once again and began working with me to put up the drywall. Dylan begins work full time next week at the brewery. He is the Civil Life Brewer and together (plus one more later) will bring the Civil Life back to earth. He also leads the most Civil Life of anyone I know. Story below!
"Dylan, Dylan, he's our man, if he can't do it no one can!"
Four score and over 3000 beers ago as I remember it, I found myself at a “beer party” put on by this chap with a beard. I had recently hired him to work at 33. He had named each of the beers and put odd notations and drawings on his refrigerator reminiscent of galaga. Actually, for historical clarity, I hired his wife, the wonderful Joline, who ended up getting another job and during the process realized that I as a small business owner would have to find a replacement for her. She kindly offered to help train her husband, whom I had only briefly met at this point if we gave him a shot. So that’s how Dylan Mosley (formerly of Houston, Missouri) began working at 33. Within 5 minutes of meeting this guy, who partly looked homeless, I knew he didn’t need training. In fact, he would through the process of working at 33 train me. Sure I had a very good beer list at the time he started and it was at the forefront of St. Louis but the beer market was at the time (and still is) in the midst of a monumental shift. It was easy then as it is easy now to see the excitement surrounding the craft beer sector in St. Louis. 4 years ago as it does today, 33 has maintained a position at the forefront of the craft beer establishments. But to remain at the top of the pack, it took a chap like Dylan to maintain and grow that list. When you have talented employees, the best thing you can do is give them the reigns. Dylan took over the beer list, grew it and thoughtfully presented it to the many beer aficionados and novices that would pass through 33. If you haven’t been by 33, it is always worth a trip. Say hello to Jeff, Mike and Andrey while you are there.
About a year after that party, I was working at 33 and I decided spending 7 plus years in one 800 square foot room was both the most worthwhile time of my life and something I needed to leave. In hopes that just maybe I could find another maybe larger space to spend 7 plus years. I did a little maybe this, maybe that soul searching... I.e. maybe I should be an astronaut or maybe I should try to find a cure for polio. Well, so I started doing a little research again and found out there are not many astronaut jobs and despite filling out my astronaut application (Steve Martin “The Jerk” reference) I had little chance of flying in outer space. Oddly enough, I also discovered some guy apparently found a vaccine for polio something like 60 years ago. At this point I then ruled out the history teacher option. So I am working at 33 with Dylan and (Guy to be named later is there) thinking about what I should do with my life. I never had a flashback before but it hit me. Beer. I love beer. I just don’t love beer, I actually drink more beer than wine. In fact, I always joked it takes a lot of great beer to make a great wine list. Within 2 hours of that moment, Dylan, (Guy to be named later) and I had purchased on my credit card the Sabco brewing system which would allow us to take Dylan’s home brew set up to the minor leagues. A few months later, we began brewing in Dylan’s basement with the specific goal of becoming a micro-brewery. We also would get very good at a game called RISK and Darts. Not only are we taking our brewing game to the majors we are also taking our game of RISK to the majors.
So who is Dylan Mosley. Well, first of all he is the closest thing Missouri has to a spy (Thanks to my friend Rick for that line). Over the last 10 years, Dylan has been tasting as many beers on the market as are on the market. He has left no beer behind in his search and his liver has been on the “World’s most impressive” and the “I wish I had as strong of a liver as...” list for the last five years. I have met some as good at describing beer but never have I met anyone better. He can talk with the seasoned pros as easily as he does with the budding novice. If craft beer isn’t your thing (not sure why you made it this far into this blog then), I’ll still bet Dylan can find something for you. He is a great cook as well and when you break down the beer making process it is much the same as cooking. Taking ingredients, putting them together to create a desired taste. Learning from the outcome to then modify the ingredients and modify/ improve the taste. This is what Dylan does best. He is able to taste a beer he has made and identify the components or process responsible for its flavor profile. He then pulls from his mental library styles he has enjoyed and finds ways to bring them into the fold. He then can adjust those ingredients to improve on the beer. Over the last several years, I have tasted time and time again beers that have been improved by Dylan through this process. Just as chefs, add more salt, less salt, more pepper, less pepper, more meat, less starch, more acidity or more cow bell (thanks SNL)... basically more or less of anything in a dish to find the balance they were looking for. Great chefs strive for balance in their meals and great beer should strive for the same. Sure there are times when you are looking for hops to shine or rye to play a role or a malt to kick up a flavor profile but too much of any one component creates a linear product and to us that is simply flat-lining a beer.
There is not a bit of pretentiousness nor ill will in this man. He has helped me tremendously through this process through his diligent research and commitment. It will be good to focus with him the next few months on getting our project off the ground.
Dylan is as kind of a person as I have met in my life and we meld quite well. However, we are often found kidding each other and never would we admit that we actually have this immense respect for each other. This is where Dylan would say, “Where did you get that idea of respect for each other?” to which I would say, “I just said it because it looked like a good sound bite.” To which he would reply and then I would reply then we would laugh and get back to whatever we were working on. We spend most of our time flowing from beer topic to joke back to beer topic. I would take a bullet for this man as long as I had on one of those kevlar flak jackets. And he would do the same as long as it hit him in the his steel toed shoes. If a train was running full speed at my good friend Dylan, I would immediately finish my beer and then push him out of the way. And that is how we roll.
I like to think of Dylan as a beer philosopher. The first thing most philosopher’s have is a beard. Dylan has a beard. So that is good enough for me. But for you....go ahead, get his ear for a bit and ask him a question about beer. He explains things in a way that will make you wish you were opening a brewery with him. But you are, by reading this blog and reading his blog you are opening this with him and with me. You are also wasting a lot of time and hopefully are charging some large multi-national corporation for it. But it is that large multi-national corporation that will drive you into our unassuming pub to relax. But back to your role in our brewery. We need you and quite frankly by the time we get open and you get to experience what we do hopefully you will see you need us as well.
We have a lot in store for you. I have full confidence that Dylan will over-time develop and produce great quality beer on a large scale. We have set very high standards for every aspect of our business. I have watched his progress from home brewer to the Siebel Institute and now as he embarks into a new role as our brewer. He understands the role and responsibility great beer plays in people’s lives. We will never lose sight of the honor one accepts when they make great beer for you to have and share with your friends. Hopefully, in time you will come to realize we opened this brewery as much as for ourselves as we did it for you. The group of people working on this have one common goal in mind. To create a Civil Life community through great beer. Cue theme music now.
So go ahead sit down, strap in your liver... turn off your cell phones and buckle up. We gained a passenger and the beer ride continues.
Hello earthlings. I have been sent here to open a brewery. I hope you have time over the next year to check in from time to time and see our progress (or lack there of at times).
Morning beer delivery at Tynan’s Bridge House Bar in Kilkenny, Ireland.