Interview with Craft Beer Drinker: Michael Jones of Beer Portfolio

I spend my days roaming the internets and social media sites for information and great beer conversation. One day I was approached by a young gentleman by the name of Michael Jones. He mentioned to me that he was starting a new beer statistics/tracking site called I’m always interested in trying out new beer trackers so I signed up and was immediately impressed by the context and information this site puts together based on your beer tastes and styles. I shot Michael a message and asked him if he would like to be featured on our site. Of course he said yes (because the Craft Beer community is cool like that).

CC: What is your favorite craft beer?
Michael: This is like asking who is your favorite child to a dad, its almost un-fair. But since I am not a father, I guess I can pick. My go to craft beer when I am home and can enjoy one is Palo Santo Marron by Dogfish Head. If you haven’t had it, I highly recommend it, but drink it slow its a heavy hitter at 12% ABV.

CC: How many years have you been drinking craft brews?
Michael: A little embarrassed to admit……2 years this December. Lets just say my older siblings started me off right on my 21st birthday.

CC: What was your first craft beer experience?
Michael: Dinner with my family on my 21st birthday. My brother bought me Midas Touch from Dogfish Head. I was totally amazed by the taste and the smoothness after all the “water” I drank a week before celebrating with my friends.

CC: Do you homebrew?
Michael: Nope, I plan to when I have more free time on my hand. I want to do it, and do it right.

CC: If you could have a six-pack of any beer in your fridge, what would it be?
Michael: Is this a trick question? 120 Minute only comes in 4 packs!

CC: What is your best beer moment/memory?
Michael: If you couldn’t tell by now I am a bit biased to Dogfish Head, visiting their brewery and brew pub in DE was an awesome experience, I felt like a little kid in a candy shop. The culture at the company was just great, so laid back and very welcoming.

CC: Why do you love craft beer?
Michael: Its odd. If everything tasted the same I would be bored, I like trying new and exciting things, and with Craft Beer there is always something new to try. Even if it isnt very good its always fun to try. For example while at the Dogfish Head brew Pub I tried a Bacon cheese cake, where else could you find something like that other then a craft beer brew pub? I would never try it again, because it tasted horrible, but hey how many people can say they have tried a bacon cheese cake?

On a more recent note, its the people who enjoy the beer. Walk into any place with a decent craft beer selection and just try talking to any of them. I haven’t had a bad experience yet with someone who enjoys a good craft beer!

CC: Do you prefer craft beer over the Big 2? If so, why?
Michael: Yes, I really think the “other” beers just taste like water, but I am not above drinking them all day on game day (Go Yankees!) or when out with the guys at a dive bar that doesn’t have craft.

I do have to say the Big 2 do make some good TV commercials, which I guess is one thing they got over the craft beer industry.

CC: What is your favorite food/dish?
Michael: I love food, and being in Annapolis MD for the past couple of years crab has really really grown on me. Put it on pretzels with cheese or throw it in Mac N Cheese, or even a standard crab cake. I love crab, but not a huge fan of it in the shell.

Ask me this question tomorrow and I will probably say something else. I am just really craving some crab right now.

CC: What are your hobbies?
Michael: I love being outside, and nothing beats a nice long run. Running is my true passion, but I do a lot of mountain and road biking. Also give me my pack and my hammock any day over the bed in my room, nothing beats backpacking in the mountains with the bare essentials. Also am a huge beach bum….did I mention I like being outside?

CC: You have a pretty cools site building up, Tell us a little bit about it.
Michael: I have been studying Information technology in school, and happened to enjoy web programing; which was odd because I hate programing (Again I like to be outside). Me and all my siblings all love craft beer but we don’t live close to each other. Every holiday becomes a big bear tasting festival in our house for a few days. Its awesome, and I wanted to be able to share this experience with them where ever we all were and not just on holidays when we were all together.

So I started Beer Portfolio for my family, to learn about programing, and to learn about craft beer. Since I started Beer Portfolio, my knowledge of beer has skyrocketed. There are a ton of websites for beer tracking but there was always something missing from each of them, I wanted to focus on each user really understanding what they are drinking. As a result I do a lot with statistics, but I think the most recent update is the best. You can tag beers with different tastes and then when enough information is submitted by users a taste profile is created to help a user visualize a beers taste.

CC: What has been your experience being a part of the craft beer community?
Michael: Again I have to say the people are awesome, no matter where I go I can find some craft beer and be at home. I took a trip to Minneapolis recently and while there stopped at Fulton Brewery for a tour and then had a few beers with one of the head brewers. Craft beer brings people together and makes you just appreciate life.

CC: What would you recommend or tell the craft beer noob?
Michael: Try everything you can, even if you don’t think you will like. The more you try the more you learn. Also take your time and think about the beer as you drink it. Do not just drink, you experience it. Lastly do not be afraid to try beers later on down the line that you originally do not like. Your pallet matures and you will be surprised when a beer you once hated becomes your favorite. When you start to really understand beers, a lot more tastes open up to you.

CC: We here at California Castaway live by slogan “Living the Craft Beer Lifestyle”. What does that mean to you?
Michael: I am going to answer this with one of my favorite quotes from the ultra marathon running world:

“Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, ‘Bring it on, darlin’, and don’t be stingy with the jalapeños.” – the late “Red” Spicer (Ultra Runner)

Go out and experience life, its exciting and fun, never forget that. Craft beer helps remind me the world is a wonderful place. Turn off the news and go grab a pint :)

Thank you very much to Michael for taking time out of his busy day to provide us with a great read. If you get a chance after you read this interview to go check out his website,, then do so. You can even add me as a friend…my username is nicocalicast.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

One of Michael’s favorites…Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

What do you think about Living the Craft Beer Lifestyle? Let us know.

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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