So in case you haven’t heard the awesome news yet, Manor Hill Brewing is going to be in full operation so soon you can taste it! In fact, test batches have already been in the works from our head Brewmaster, Ben Little. I had the opportunity to meet up with Ben last week for a little Q&A:
How long have you been brewing?
I have been brewing professionally for less than a year, but I have been doing it on my own for 10 years.
What experience do you have in craft beer world?
I started off by working for a beer distributor and then eventually, began working for Flying Dog in Frederick Maryland. Last year, I had the opportunity to then brew professionally for Push Brewing in Columbia Maryland.
What got you into beer in the first place?
When I was 23, I tried Dogfish 60 minute IPA and loved it. From there, I wanted to learn more, so I self-taught myself everything I needed to know. I expanded my knowledge and enjoyed drinking different types of beer. I began to come up with my own ideas and I told myself “OK. Now MAKE these beers!”
Who is your inspiration and why?
Tired hands from Ardmore Pennsylvania because they are very authentic and think outside the box.
It was an IPA and it was not very good.
Why wasn’t it good?
It was a sanitation issue. This is why I now put a large amount of focus on sanitation to ensure the beer tastes the way that it should.
Other than sanitation, what has been your biggest lesson as a brewer?
Not to over complicate the beer. Staying simple is key.
What creation are you most proud of?
When I was younger, I made a Mosaic double IPA that won in a local Homebrew competition. I think that is my favorite beer that I have made. Mosaic is a very diverse and versatile hop and worked very well with what I wanted to create.
Have you had any other achievements as a brewer?
I entered 4 beers in the 2014 Brewer’s Association of Maryland Comptroller’s cup and won some awards. I received Gold in both the IPA and Specialty/Experimental categories and Silver in Best overall Maryland Beer.
What are 3 local beers you are loving right now?
Evolution lot 3, Flying dog Truth and Oliver’s Dark horse
What are you most excited about working for Manor Hill Brewing?
Being able to build it from the ground up and working with people who share the same vision as I do. I am most excited about getting that first drop of beer to the public.
What is going to separate Manor Hill from other breweries?
Mostly the farm aspect of it. We will be able to use fresh ingredients and well water that comes directly from Manor Hill Farm. There aren’t a lot of places that have the opportunity to do that and it will make us very special.
What can we expect from Manor Hill beers?
We will be creating aromatic, hop forward farmhouse style beers. We are also very excited about releasing a sour beer program later this year.
What are your future expectations or goals?
I think the most important thing is to stay true to yourself. I want us to create authentic, creative beer. My ultimate goal is just to have people drinking and enjoying our beer.