Brewer's Playlist Volume 5: Andy Miller of Great Notion Brewing
In our fifth Brewer's Playlist we interview, Andy Miller, Co-Brewer & Partner at Great Notion Brewing in Portland, Oregon. This column explores how music influences brewers in their quest to produce unique and delicious beers. At the end of the interview, a curated Spotify Playlist from Andy is available for the public to listen to. Enjoy.
Q. How did you get into craft beer?
A. I got into homebrewing at Auburn University around 1996. There weren't many craft beer options in Alabama so we made our own. Remember Pete's Wicked Ale? That was my go to back then and it was so much better than most of the other stuff on the shelf at the time. I did some traveling in 97/98 and spent some time in Colorado and the West Coast eventually ending up in Oregon for an internship. We drank a lot of Sierra Nevada those summers. I fell in love with Oregon and moved here. Around 2000 I went to my first Oregon Brewer's Festival. The year Pliny showed up my mind was blown. That really made me realize what was possible.
Q. How has music influenced your brewing?
A. I don't know how much it has influenced my brewing but it sure does give me motivation. I feel like music and brewing have a lot in common in that there's only so many notes or ingredients, but the different combinations of them are endless.
Q. What type of music do you like to listen to while you brew?
A. Lately, I've been listening to Kendrick Lamar's new album. I've also been known to listen to old school Modest Mouse.
Q. Do you listen to a certain type of genre of music?
A. I like just about everything. While I'm brewing I really tend to listen to rap or rock.
Q. Have you ever brewed a music oriented beer before? If so, please explain what and why?
A. We did a collaboration with Block 15 called "Peach Punch you in the eye" which is a play on the Phish song about Wilson.
Q. Do you play any instruments?
A. I mess around with the guitar a little. My oldest son takes drum lessons and we got him a kit as a present. It's been pretty fun to play drums after having a couple beers.
Q. Who is your favorite musician and why?
A. That's a tough question. If you asked what my favorite movie of all time was I'd say "The Goonies" with no hesitation. I'm going with Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse. I love how unique their sound is. Modest Mouse doesn't sound like anyone and no one sounds like Modest Mouse. Their early albums were amazing. If you have never seen their documentary about The Lonesome Crowded West I would suggest watching it.
Q. What was the first concert you went to?
A. Man, this is embarrassing. The first one I went to was the country band Alabama with my sister. I was really little so I don't really count it. The first concert I chose to go to may even be worse though. Bon Jovi and Skid Row. It wasn't too long after that I saw Guns N Roses, Metallica, and Faith No More. I was really into Faith No More at the time. I grew up in the south what can I say? Growing up in Alabama close to New Orleans we spent lots of weekends in the Big Easy seeing bands like Swervedriver, The Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, George Clinton, The Meters, Sonic Youth, Pavement etc...
Q. What was the most recent concert you went to?
A. I have two kids so it's been a while. I had a friend that made me go see The Dead and Company last summer. I'm not a big Deadhead or anything, but the show was fun. I was mostly surprized that John Mayer is a bad ass.
Q. How do you discover new music?
A. Word of mouth mostly. I like reading the "Top Albums of the Year" lists and I will try anything that seems interesting. I also like rediscovering old albums on vinyl.
Q. What are your favorite online/offline resources for learning new brewing techniques and ingredients?
A. Mad Fermentationist, Embrace the Funk, Homebrewtalk, Probrewer.com, The Brewing Network (especially The Sour Hour), Scott Janish.
Q. What are you excited about coming up at your brewery?
A. We recently bought a canning line and are currently building out a 20000 ft2 facility. We can't wait to have cans of beer to go.
Q. Spotify Playlist- Choose 10-20 songs you listen to while you brew?