Interview with Craft Beer Drinker: Gerard Walen of Road Trips for Beer

To be a part of the Craft Beer community allows you to be exposed to how other people appreciate and celebrate Craft Beer. Join us on this interview trip with Gerard Walen.

CC: What is your favorite craft beer?
Gerard: You’re starting with the hardest one, eh? I can’t possibly narrow it down to one brand. In my mind, beer is as much about the experience, the atmosphere and the people as the taste. Much like a particular song or scent, a craft beer can bring back the memory of a special time and place. So I suppose my favorite craft beer is the one that I’m drinking when making that memory or when that memory returns.

CC: How many years have you been drinking craft brews?
Gerard: I began being aware of the craft beer world in the last few years of the 20th century, and began trying them in different situations. It was around 2006-07 that I really began drinking them nearly all the time.

CC: What was your first craft beer experience?
Gerard: Though it was not an American craft beer, a friend of mine at a pub knew I was interested in trying new beer (read “non-macro) and suggested that I order a Young’s Ram Rod Strong Ale. After the first sip, I realized that beer could be more than fizzy, yellow and tasteless.

CC: Do you homebrew?
Gerard: Yes. I’m still in the extract brewing stage, but the ones I’ve made have come out pretty darn good. I have a porter coming up next.

CC: If you could have a six-pack of any beer in your fridge, what would it be?
Gerard: Another tough one. At the moment, I would probably say a six-pack of Monk’s Blood from 21st Amendment because it’s one of my favorite brews and it’s not available here in Florida. Then when that was gone, the answer would change.

CC: What is your best beer moment/memory?
Gerard: Too many, and some of them I likely can’t fully remember. But it always involves the right beer in the right place at the right time with the right people.

CC: Why do you love craft beer?
Gerard: Gerard: Being a craft beer drinker is a voyage of exploration. Like a world traveler, there’s always a chance to discover something new and exciting, but at the same time it’s comforting to have the option to set down in a familiar and favorite destination.

CC: Do you prefer craft beer over the Big 2? If so, why?
Gerard: Yes. Carrying the travel analogy further, drinking macros all the time is like staying at home with no desire to venture further than the city limits. That’s fine for some folks, but not me.

CC: What is your favorite food/dish?
Gerard: Slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone barbecued ribs.

CC: What are your hobbies?
Gerard: Being a freelance writer doesn’t leave much time for hobbies, but I’m currently living in a rural area so when I need a break, I can take a long walk in the woods. Of course, I enjoy homebrewing and meeting friends old and new over a pint or two of beer, but I’m not sure that second one counts as a hobby. I like watching (American) Football on TV and doing crafts with my daughter.

CC: What is that all about.
Gerard: Short version – An online travel magazine for the beer tourist. I came into the position in early 2010 and have built the site from the ground up, along with the associated Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets. I can’t devote as much time as I wish to it because I have to concentrate on things that “make money,” but it’s been a lot of fun. We cover festivals, beer destinations, special events, and so on.

CC: What has been your experience being a part of the craft beer community?
Gerard: Fantastic. There’s a saying that “Beer People are Good People,” and other than a few exceptions to prove the rule, I’ve found that to be universally true. I’ve made some true friends and learned so much from others about craft beer. I hoped I’ve been able to return the favor to some small degree.

CC: What would you recommend or tell the craft beer noob?
Gerard: That there is such a wide variety of tastes in the craft beer world that there’s no need to dismiss any beer because its style or brewer. Keep exploring. For instance, I’m not a big fan of fruit beers in general, but I’ve had some that knocked my socks off.

CC: We here at California Castaway live by slogan “Living the Craft Beer Lifestyle”. What does that mean to you?
Gerard: Encouraging and promoting craft beer wherever I may roam.

Thank you Gerard for taking the time to share your views and quick story behind We wish you the best on your journeys and hope to grab a pint with you one day. Cheers.

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Nico Miranda

I'm a father, husband, son, brother, friend, gamer, graphic designer and Craft Beer Enthusiast. I love reading about, writing about and drinking craft beer. I am Living the Craft Beer Lifestyle.

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