Interview with Brewing Team of Baying Hound Aleworks – Part I: Paul Rinehart

Upon walking into the 1,350 square foot warehouse in Rockville Maryland, I began to get the idea of what a nano-brewery looks like. It was small, but not cramped. I walked in just as Rory Clark, Quality Control Specialist, and his friend Lance were testing the gravity of one of their beers. I was excited to meet Paul Rinehart and Lindsey Miller, head brewers of Baying Hound Aleworks. As new as this team is to the industry, they have already been interviewed by the Brewer’s Association, Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, The Washington Post, and Beer Connoisseur. Baying Hound started operations in July of 2010, but wasn’t officially open until November 2010. The brewery is named in honor of Paul’s late bloodhound, Marmalade. All the beers are bottle-conditioned and capped by hand. They produce about two barrels per week, which amounts to about 30 cases of 22 ounce bottles. Within the next month, they should be expanding beyond their pale ale and porter by adding an India Brown Ale, IPA, and Lindsey’s masterpiece, Angel’s Nectar Chamomile Wheat. I had an absolute blast hanging out with everyone. Here’s how Part I of our Q and A session went:

Paul

CC: You have a strong culinary background (Paul studied French cooking at L’Academie de Cuisine).What made you want to do the brewery and not the brewpub?
Paul: I was sick and tired of restaurants. My last boss said I was too nice to be working in a kitchen. Besides, I’m [still] surrounded by food. For starters, our neighbor in the warehouse next to us is the head chef from Smith Commons and owns his own catering business called 42 Degrees.

CC: I believe that breweries try to support the local communities. What is one thing you have done?
Paul: Well, we give a lot of our grain away to a local farm to feed chickens. It’s kind of cool because he brought us some eggs that tasted really good. That’s what eggs are supposed to taste like.

CC: I don’t see any 12 ounce bottles. What gives?
Paul: We retired the 12 ounce bottles because it was becoming too time-consuming to bottle that many beers. The 22 ounce bottles are faster to bottle and easier to sell at the point of sale. We ended up selling all our 12 ounce bottles to Flying Barrel and 3 Stars at a reduced rate. It’s a win-win situation.

CC: I see your shirts came in around the beginning of March. How’d you get the slogan, “Brewed by people you’d like to drink with”?
Paul: I love that phrase. My assistant brewer, Hank Miller (no relation to Lindsey) thought of the phrase for the shirt. We had our first Yelp last month which said, “If your best friend were starting a brewery, this is what it would look like.”

CC: Who are your biggest followers?
Paul: Our biggest following is from the congregation at 6th and I Historic Synagogue. We did a tasting there back in December and I brought the Marmaggedon Porter. It’s a smoked porter. Someone raised their hand and asked about food pairings. I said it really goes well with game, red meat, and really well with pork. The whole room went silent. I was like, “Did I say something wrong?” My assistant brewer said, “Hey Paul, we’re in a synagogue.” But we ended up hanging out there long after the event ended with about 20 people. We were polishing off the rest of the beer. Then we went to RFD afterwards. Those folks at 6th and I really know how to party. They’ve been coming in for tours too. It’s really nice to touch base with people who are curious with what you are doing. A lot of people can’t believe there is actually a brewery in Rockville.

CC: How big do you expect to get?
Paul: It would be nice to do 15 barrels per week. We’re not going to be far off from that soon. I’m going to be getting a fourth fermenter in to catch up since we’re doing four brews now. With one more fermenter, we’re gonna be golden. We also have 6-gallon fermenters where we ferment our experimental brews. These are so we can keep from getting bored. When you brew the same thing over and over again, boredom can get to you.

CC: What do you do with your experimental brews?
Paul: We put them in kegs and throw them in the fridge for a second purpose, marketing research. We get to gauge and calibrate what people like and don’t like. It’s a great way to get input from people.

CC: What else have you been thinking of experimenting with?
Paul: Actually, one of the things I’ve been thinking about doing is video advertisements and posting them to YouTube. Guerrila Marketing. I used to do a video podcast called Better Beer Food. It was a cooking show set to music. There was no voice-over. It was just me cooking and pairing with a new beer each week.
CC: What kind of music would you play?
Paul: A lot of indie sort of open sourced stuff. It actually put me in touch with a lot of brewers like Bill Madden of Mad Fox. On our first season we were just buying beer and pairing it with the food. Not very scientific, it was the easy thing to do. The second season, we compiled a list of all the microbreweries in the U.S. We were getting a ton of free beer for the podcast. It put me in touch with a lot of people and a lot of beers I would have never really had here. Bill was then the brewer at Vintage 50. We have since done an event at Mad Fox where it was all local brewers [DC Brau, Chocolate City, and Three Stars]. I was the only one selling at the time. That’s where I launched the Marmageddon Porter. It went over really well. I introduced Lindsey and Rory to the media there. It was great to give someone else some deserved attention.

CC: What are your thoughts on the possible future of Maryland’s alcohol tax hike?
Paul: 750%?! It translates to being [an extra] $2.50 to $3.00 a case. But there’s another bit of legislation that hopefully will be going through with the Federal government. They’re going to be reducing the tax on barrels. [Right now] Anything under 60,000 gets charged $7 a barrel. They’re talking about reducing that to $3.50 a barrel.

CC: What are your thoughts about the camaraderie between brewers?
Paul: That’s the thing about brewers. They’re more than helpful. The guy from Dog Brewing told us, “If you ever need anything, ingredients, whatever, let me know. I’d be happy to get it to you.” I would love to do a collaboration beer or local beer festival with just local breweries.

CC: I love the concept of serving craft beer because it combines love for the beer and the brewers that have passion for what they do. What do you think? What do you love about craft beer?
Paul: I think if you ever lose the passion, forget it. You need to retire. I grew up on beer. On both sides of my family, they were either brewers, bootleggers, or wine makers. My great-grandfather was on the board of directors for Carlsbug. They would give us free tours. We would go three or four times in a summer. At one point I said to myself, “I want to do this one of these days.” It took a while, but I started homebrewing when I was 14. Most of it wasn’t even drinkable. I was using anything I could find to brew three gallons at a time.

CC: Are you guys planning on being at any events in the future?
Paul: Actually, we got our start at a beer festival back in October. It was the Takoma Park Nuclear Free Festival. That was a lot of fun. There were 300 people there. It was my first event so I had no idea what to expect. I got interviewed by the Washington Post and a couple other things followed. Actually, I met Lindsey and Rory at the Real Ale Festival put on by BURP [Brewers United for Real Potables]. And if you like cask ales, they had like 50 cask ales. I met these guys [Lindsey and Rory] there. And that’s when I first tried Lindsey’s chamomile wheat. She had brought a bottle with her. So we started talking about having her come in to do a guest brew. Then we started talking more and more and this [the brewery] happened.

CC: How do you feel about Lindsey’s breakthrough into the craft brewing industry?
Paul: Traditionally, brewing was a women’s job [alewives]. I don’t know how it became the man’s thing to do. It may have been the monks brewing in the middle ages. The alewives would supply their own taverns. It’s nice to see that there are more women getting into brewing. Lindsey is a talented girl. Every beer I’ve had of hers has been wonderful. There is one that she thought really sucked and ended up doing really well. That was her Smoked Pumpkin Porter. We kicked the keg of that within two hours. It was gone. It’s great to brew with a woman professionally. It’s great for marketing. It’s such a male-dominated industry nowadays.

Tune in for Part II of my Baying Hound interview with Lindsey Miller…

miguel

Miguel Torres: I'm a craft beer fanatic, a homebrewer and President of California Castaway. I love the relaxed, fun-loving craft beer lifestyle and will rave about it to anyone who's willing to listen.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Previous Next

One Comment (+add yours?)

Leave a Reply