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Drink Like a Fan: Q&A with Redhook Ale’s Brewmaster Nick Crandall

Redhook Ale Brewery’s Nick Crandall

Redhook Ale Brewery’s Nick Crandall

With football season set to kick off, now is a good time to talk about another favorite pastime — drinking a beer while watching the game. We sat down for a cold one with Redhook Ale Brewery’s Nick Crandall, who gave us his expert opinion on everything from tailgating tips to Andre the Giant drinking 150 beers once upon a time. (And don’t forget, always find a designated driver and tip your bartender.) Cheers!

[Q] Do you have any tailgating tips?

Plan ahead and always start early.

[Q] What’s the best drinking game to play while tailgating?

I’m a big fan of cornhole, especially drinking when your opponent scores or whenever either of you score. The more drinking, the better.

[Q] What’s the optimal temperature for beer? It depends on the style.

But generally, lagers are around 40°F and ales are around 50°F. But each beer sort of has a sweet spot.

[Q] Which is the best way to serve beer: can, bottle or draft?

I prefer draft, since you’re automatically putting it into a glass, allowing you to smell the beer and appreciate the flavors more.

[Q] What is the proper technique to pour a beer?

Hold your glass at a 45-degree angle to start. Pour onto the side of the glass to reduce foaming. As the glass fills, slowly bring your glass back to vertical and create a little foam by giving some distance to the glass to create a nice thick head.

[Q] Why do some beers have fruit garnishes and others do not?

Some beers don’t need them.

[Q] What’s your personal favorite beer that your company brews?

Winterhook. Our winter seasonal changes a little each year, giving us a fresh new malty and hoppy beer each winter.

[Q] What’s the fastest way to make hot beer cold enough to drink?

I’m going to say liquid nitrogen, but I wouldn’t recommend that for safety reasons.

[Q] There’s a tall tale that Andre the Giant once drank 150 beers in one sitting. Do you believe that? Is that what it would take to get buzzed if you’re 7'4" and 500 pounds?

I do believe that the 8th Wonder of the World drank 150 beers, but I also believe that he was a little more than “buzzed” after that.

[Q] What question are you asked most about beer?

No doubt, how much beer I get to drink while I’m at work.

[Q] How much beer do you get to drink while you’re at work?

Depends on if the boss has gone home already.

[Q] What food goes best with your Winterhook beer?

Burritos. But I kind of just really love burritos.

[Q] How many beers are too many for one sitting?

I don’t know. I usually just end up standing.