Lesterud, Humboldt Brewery Brewmaster
How did you become a brewer?
I became a brewer because I didn't want to be like many people
I know who live for the weekend and loathe their job during the
week. To truly enjoy life you have to love what you are doing
for a living, not just pray you can make it to Friday. I began
as a home-brewer and after becoming bored with my job at an environmental
laboratory, I begged a local brewery for a job and eventually
convinced them I was worth a shot. Since then I have taken professional
courses at UC Davis and have become a member of the American Brewers
Guild as a Brewer/Mentor, teaching students the practical aspects
of the trade. I am also a technical reviewer and contributor to
Brew Your Own and Brewpub magazines. Presently I am Head Brewer
for Humboldt Brewing Co.
is your brewing philosophy? What keeps you and your brewers inspired?
I don't know that we have a "brewing philosophy" so to speak.
But again, if you don't love what you're doing, why do it? When
I started at Humboldt, we only had a couple of brands and now
our portfolio has blossomed. We have had an opportunity to be
creative and develop several new brands, as well as specialty
brews for our pub and local market. Right now, we have eleven
different brews on tap in our pub. Our newest we call the "Muddy
Mocha Porter," which has coffee and bakers chocolate in the recipe.
Having the opportunity to do things like this on a whim is what
keeps our interest in the brewhouse.
do you think the significant microbrewing trends will be in the
The most significant trend I see in microbrewing is mainstreaming.
We are already seeing microbrews placed in situation comedies
on television and in movies. Micros are now in most better restaurants
and bars throughout the country. Mainstreaming doesn't mean a
dilution of quality by any means, but the mass market is finally
becoming aware that beer isn't just for guzzling in the frat house
and after work in the shop. Beer will always have it's blue collar
base, but people are discovering that you can be sophisticated
with a beer, that you can cook with it and that you can accompany
meals with it other than the backyard barbeque.
WB: What is your favorite beer and food combination?
A blue-collar meal of lamb chops or steak, rosemary and garlic
potatoes and a pale ale. Humboldt Pale is my favorite, but Sierra
Nevada or any one you prefer will work too.
is located on the Northwest coast of California, 270 miles north
of San Francisco. The original Humboldt Brewing Co. was established
in 1854 in Eureka, California. It remained in operation until
1940, excluding the years of prohibition. In 1987 Humboldt Brewing
Company was reopened as a brewpub. In 1993, as a result of popular
response to the beer, the brewery operation was expanded. Its
beers are available throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well
as in Colorado. Contact: 865 10th Street Arcata, CA 95521