Thursday, September 4, 2014

6 pack of Questions with Wayward Owl Brewing's Justin Boswell

1) So you’ve decided to move from the Seattle area where there is an amazing craft beer scene to New Orleans which is more of an emerging one.  What made you do that? 

Well, my wife and I have been watching the scene and even more importantly the laws for breweries in Louisiana and trying to determine when the best time to make the move would be. Once the laws concerning breweries having tasting rooms changed that was a huge encouragement for us to start considering the move back to Louisiana. That particular facet of the industry(tasting rooms) just allows you to connect so much more intimately and directly with all the craft beer lovers out there and helps to push the bottom line for startups like ours into a business model that can actually sustain you during ups and downs within the craft beer market. Without that change I cannot say we would have ever considered re-locating home to do this. I love making beer and I want to share what I have to offer with the best people in the country, the people of Louisiana. I mean with the diversity of amazing food here, there has to be room for more amazing beer to go along with it. I have been told that I have a knack for bringing people together over a well crafted brew and I am excited to try my best to do my part within the awesome brotherhood of brewers that Louisiana has to offer.

2) Why Wayward Owl?

This is a question with a few different answers. The first is that the Boswell family crest from Scotland is actually an owl and we wanted to use that as our totem for the company. The second and more talked about is this.....When I worked for Black Raven Brewing the "Kraven T. Raven" puppet that we used for events was left in my wife's car. She decided after about a week to kid-nap it and send a ransom note to the brewery. After a bit of research she found out that the owl is the natural predator of the raven and in mythology there are a lot of stories with friction between the two. So she created "Trevor H. Owleander" and sent a ransom note and video to the brewery demanding their IPA as ransom for the raven and establishing himself as Kraven's arch nemesis. After a while the raven escaped because ravens are crafty like that and made friends with the owl over a bottle of Wisdom Seeker double IPA. We thought that by calling our brewery Wayward Owl we would be paying a bit of homage to our roots and the folks who gave me my brewing start. It's mostly a tip of the hat to where I got my start. The Wayward part of things is attributed to my love for wild beers, yeast and the unpredictability that we as brewers thrive on. You won't ever be able to pin down what we might do next cause we are some Wayward Owls. You can actually go on facebook and find pages for both Kraven and Trevor, if you are interested in that type of shenanigan.

3) What kind of beers are you looking to brew?  What will be your flagship brews?  Any special releases?

I intend on brewing beers I like. I mean whats the point of brewing if I don't want to drink the beer I brew? I will brew a few for the entry level craft beer drinker but based on what i've learned being back the palate of beer drinkers here is getting much more diverse than what I thought. I think this will give me the opportunity to get some wild Brett beers and sours out there in time. Those types of beers take a lot of time before they are ready so don't expect those out of the gate. Concerning flagship beers, I would like to keep the mantra of my previous employer in that respect. We aren't really in this to make flagship beers but we would love to eventually establish ourself as a flagship brewery. That being said our year round offerings will include a filtered wheat, session IPA, standard IPA, nitro stout, a scotch ale and a common. Seasonally we will have a double IPA, saison, and a few belgian style beers. We will also offer some wild, barrel aged and sour ales annually.........eventually. I want to do it all!

4) Cans or bottles? Both?

We will be offering both. Some year round offerings will be canned and our more delicate barrel, wild, and sour ales will be bottled.

5) I feel the New Orleans craft beer scene is about to explode.  We currently have one in the city.  Counting you we are about to have 5. ( I say 5 because I hear another Pacific Northwesterner originally from NOLA is coming back to start a brewery as well.) What do you see for the future of brewing in the city?

I think the future is bright if we can all work together, which believe me we are. I hear outsiders and some larger breweries see this as a battlefield but i'm coming from a market with over 200 local breweries and the people in that market only consume a fraction of the beer that the beer lovers in Louisiana do. There is room for everyone. I think the key for me is to get my boots on the ground and start connecting with people more. We should show them that the local brewers are here, in their neighborhood. We are here with our families making something that we love for them to enjoy and that they love to support because we all support the community, and create jobs in the local economy. I think as beer laws here start to catch up with the rest of the country then we will all be able to take that approach more easily and give back to our communities more and more. That being said I am very encouraged by what the city council, state reps, and the distributors are doing to help push things forward. It's very positive and it's moving forward in the right direction. Let's face it soon we will be the southern brewing capital again. Let's do it. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD BREWERY!!

6) What styles of beer are your favorite?  Favorite Louisiana beer?

That is a freaking hard question. I will say i lean towards hoppy beers and barrel aged beers. I go back and forth on favorite Louisiana beer but right now i'd say Gnarly Barley Radical Rye & Catahoula Common are at the top of my list. I have been drinking a lot of both of those. Ask me next week and I may give you a different answer. 

No comments: