Beer Stories: Craft Beer Industry Insights

Brewmaster, Co-Founder & CEO Pasteur Street Brewing Company, Alex Violette | S1E1

December 19, 2022 Mischa Smith & Alex Violette Season 1 Episode 1
Beer Stories: Craft Beer Industry Insights
Brewmaster, Co-Founder & CEO Pasteur Street Brewing Company, Alex Violette | S1E1
Show Notes Transcript

In Episode 1 of Beer Stories, Mischa talks to Alex about his craft beer journey, where it all started, Brown Ales, Walter White, favourite beer styles, his Mount Rushmore of beers, the Vietnamese Craft Beer Industry, legacies, and his decision to bring his family back to Vietnam after two years back home in the USA. We also debut our first running segment of the podcast - Fact or Fiction, where Mischa makes some statements about Alex's life, or beers in general, and he confirms or denies. Cheers! 

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Mischa Smith:

Welcome to beer stories. This is a a brand new podcast. We're gonna talk about craft beer mostly, but beer in general as well. This is our first episode, so it may never see the light of day nor the Internet's warm glow, but Hey, you never know if you're listening to this. It means we're really proud of what we've. My name is Misha Smith. I'm gonna be the host I am a craft beer enthusiast going back quite a ways. And for the last seven years I've been making my living selling craft beers for pastor street brewing company. My guest today is my boss, Alex violet CEO. Co-founder brewmaster pastor street, Berman company. Hi. I Misha. Thanks

Alex Violette:

for coming on. No problem.

Mischa Smith:

What like sparked your desire to start making beer? Was there something else that led to that. Yeah.

Alex Violette:

So, I mean, it, it exposed me to the idea that that's something that you could do. And then the minimum drinking age of the United States really inspired me to start making beer because we quickly realized that you, you could buy barley and hops and yeast at any age. And then you could just make beer yourself. I never really had one specific beer mentor, but it's definitely the, the entire journey has been heavily influenced by the people that I've been working with at each each step along the way. you know, following their passions and, you know, taking out, uh, taking a big risk with their money or taking a second mortgage on their house to invest in this business. Seeing that at a young age, I was just like, man, I can't even imagine having a house. What alone? Gambling it on this business, working like I've been brewing beer for what, like two years.

Mischa Smith:

we started in 2015 seven years later, more than 60 local craft breweries in Vietnam. do you ever think about what your role was in, building that scene and kind of your legacy in the Vietnam craft beer industry? You genuinely enjoyed the du and beer that you made

Alex Violette:

it just haunted me ever since we um, we had a keg of IPA, and we have a customer say, I think this, this IPA taste funny and I smell it and I'm just like, oh shit. The, the smells like Dian. And it turns out that any keg that we had, the Dian beer in had to be removed from service. It just, it stuck there.

Mischa Smith:

So this podcast was your idea to talk about beers. That's correct. We haven't really figured out the exact format yet. So we're doing this as an interview. We're gonna talk about your craft beer journey, mostly Ernie, mostly. And then at the end, we're gonna do a little fun factor fiction segment. Well, let's get started. Let's go. cheers. Ah, in addition to us, we've got our producer Niall Mackay, and our theme music was done by Lewis Wright. so, Alex you're a little younger than. I distinctly remember a time when I was of drinking age that I've never heard about craft beer before living back in Canada. Do you have a memory of the first time you learned about craft beer? Was it always part of your lexicon that there was this other kind of beer called a craft beer?

Alex Violette:

No, the, the first time that I heard the term craft beer and actually connected that to something. Was in Missoula, Montana. Okay. And I was a sophomore at university and my roommate lived in Montana, but we were going to university in Tennessee. So his father said, how about we buy you a plane ticket to fly up to Montana? So you can drive back with my son and. We arrived in Montana and I, you know, brought my fake ID with me. And the, the first thing was like, Hey, you've gotta go to this brewery tour. They give you free beer and you get to see a brewery. And I was like, all right, let's, let's go do it. So we went to big sky brewering in Missoula, Montana. We took a brewery tour and I was a biochemistry student at the time. And I was just like mind blown about all of the the processes and the equipment that went into making. So, um, we ended up, you know, doing all the sampling and buying a six pack of Moru to take back to his parents' place. And that was the first time that I had craft beer.

Mischa Smith:

Awesome. Do you remember specifically what the very first craft beer you tried was Moro brown now. Okay. Oh, nice. Are you still a big brown

Alex Violette:

L guy? Yes. It's one of my favorite styles to brew. Unfortunately it's also one of the hard, harder styles to sell. So done those at various breweries and had, you know, very great success with winning lots of awards at you know, the world beer cup and great American beer festival. When I was brewing at absolute brewing company, that was actually our most awarded beer was our brown nail. But we, we had to discontinue it from a year round rotation because, you know, if you're wanting a dark beer, we found that people went right to a stout or reporter. And if you were wanting something a little bit lighter, like an Amber rail or something would usually fit that.

Mischa Smith:

for sure. Yeah. I remember when I was younger, brown nails were definitely more of a thing and it seems like it's a style that time has forgotten.

Alex Violette:

Yeah. I, I really enjoy the the balance of it, but I think in the you know, the, the world of craft beers, you know, hundreds of styles of beer that you could choose to buy it's maybe maybe too much in the middle.

Mischa Smith:

yeah, not enough of one thing. Not enough of

Alex Violette:

another. Yeah. It's got roasted malts, but just a little bit. It's got hops, but not over the top hoppy. It's got, you know the ones that we were doing were a little bit higher in alcohol content, but not super high right around, you know, 7%. So it was very, very much in the middle. Yeah. Of a lot of different styles.

Mischa Smith:

Yeah. So quick story. We we had a beer called Kentucky common. For a little while it was a seasonal beer and it's really about the inflection. Right. So I really liked it. A lot of people really liked it, but it didn't, it just wasn't really moving very well. So initially I was describing as like, oh, it's dark, but not too dark it's sour, but not too sour as like a selling point. But then when it's not selling, it's like, oh, it's dark, but not too dark and it's sour, but not too sour. It was just like a little bit of everything, but not enough of anything for. So you mentioned biochemistry. That's what you went to school for? Yes. Cool. And then was the, was that craft brewery tour? What like sparked your desire to start making beer? Was there something else that led to that. Yeah.

Alex Violette:

So, I mean, it, it exposed me to the idea that that's something that you could do. And then the the minimum drinking age of the United States really inspired me to start making beer because we quickly realized that you, you could buy barley and hops and yeast at any age. And then you could just make beer yourself. And it was kind of kind of a challenge, you know, if we're we're these biochemists and we're learning all these complicated processes going inside the, these cells in yeast. We should be able to figure out how to make beer. Right. and that's kind of how it started. It was for the um, the utility of it. And then we quickly realized that you know, drinking that first batch yeah. It fermented and it tasted awful and started to realize that there was like really an art to it. You couldn't just go into the science side and then have something that was enjoyable to drink. You really had to. You know, have, have an appreciation of the flavors for beer and an understanding of where those flavors come from and use a little bit of your artistic side to, to blend that together in combination with the technical side to, to make sure you have a clean fermentation and that you actually ferment to alcohol and not to vinegar or something.

Mischa Smith:

So would you say that you saw a lot of yourself in Walter White's story when you watched breaking.

Alex Violette:

absolutely not. The main reason is that I never really thought this would be something you could make money doing.

Mischa Smith:

Right. That was his goal from the start was to, yeah.

Alex Violette:

Yeah. It wasn't until much later that you know, had the idea that maybe you should try and turn this into a career. It was always very much, this is gonna be a fun hobby that I have.

Mischa Smith:

So when you did. Making money off, turning into a career or profession. Did you go mad with power the way that Walter White did?

Alex Violette:

No. Not, not at all. It was probably the, the least powerful position in the entire company that was working at driving a truck and lifting cakes

Mischa Smith:

kind of put, gotta put the work in brick by brick. Did you have like a, a mentor in the brewing industry or was it just from the, those beginnings you were kind of self taught. You figured it out along the way, or was there someone in your journey who really, I don't know, either made you like helped you to take it to the next level or like really opened up certain things that you wouldn't have been able to figure it on your own. Otherwise,

Alex Violette:

I never really had one specific beer mentor, but it's definitely the, the entire journey has been heavily influenced by the people that I've been working with at each each step along the way. Because of that artistic side, everybody has a different take. So brewing with people that appreciate different flavors in the beer and then brewing with people that have different. different educational background. So it's some people got into it because of the art and just this passion for a flavor of beer. Some people were more of an engineering, mechanical mindset and really enjoyed the equipment and the process. Some people were like production manager. You could tell, like that's what they were drawn to is like the scheduling and the optimization and, and that end of it. And then of course, like business people who. you know, following their passions and, you know, taking out taking a big risk with their money or taking a second mortgage on their house to invest in this business. Seeing that at a young age, I was just like, man, I can't even imagine having a house. What alone? Gambling it on this business, working like I've been brewing beer for what, like two years. Like I can't let this guy down.

Mischa Smith:

right. That's funny. So did your, did your parents have any influence in your craft beer experience or were they. like my parents were wine drinkers and, and whiskey drinkers. Were your parents into craft beer as well? No. Blake is older or younger than you? He's younger than I am. So obviously as the younger brother, he wouldn't have had any influence, but he also was in the craft beer industry.

Alex Violette:

Yeah. Yeah. So he worked in the industry for man probably four or five years total at he helped with pastor street and lived in Vietnam here for a while. Obviously. It's how, you know, And then before that he was at Sweetwater brewing and then after Vietnam, he was at bells brewing. So pastor street by far the smallest brewery that he's ever been a part of right.

Mischa Smith:

Cool. So moving on it's kind of like asking you to pick your favorite child, which is obviously easy for you. You only have one, but do you have. Like a single favorite beer that you've ever made, whether it was here in Vietnam or back home in the states, is there one that like really stands out as like either that's my favorite that I've ever tasted or like that's the one I'm the most proud of?

Alex Violette:

I mean, I think I've always had one of those beers, but it's never stayed consistent. It's always changed as a, you know, at one point in. In the career, you know, it would be really proud of making this one beer and just like remembering the creative process that went into it. And how either like original, you thought it was or how it really suited the, the needs of beer drinkers and really filled a hole where where there was one, you know, and the the options that were available to folks or or even like a beer that that was very successful for your company that, you know, that went out and was like a workhorse. And then, yeah, so it is kind of changed over time, but, but yeah, always, I'd say there's one beer that I'm thinking about where like, ah, that's where it's at right now, I really like the Chan Mo just because of the, the process of creating. and really listening to a lot of people saying they wanted different flavors and they were like, you should make a cider. You should make a, a hard seltzer. And, and just asking why, why, what do you like about it? And trying to to get them to describe the specific flavors that they were interested in and then using those flavors and saying that, that flavor isn't specific to a. Or to a hard soda, this can be in beer and then finding a way to pull out what, what I think they were really asking for in, in a drink and then put that into a beer that for, for me, like combined all of that, and also stuck to our vision and values for our company to, to make craft be. And to make them with non-traditional local ingredients that highlight the, the agriculture and the culinary tradition of Vietnam. So, so yeah, I think that, you know, combining all of that, it was a big exercise on, on brewing. Not only trying to figure out what somebody wanted, but then finding a way to brew it within the within the context of, of who we are and what we.

Mischa Smith:

Obviously I've had that beer as well recently. I think it's awesome. It's it's it's not at all what I expected when you were describing it to me before it was done. So I was really surprised by it just for our international audience. Could you describe what BH Chan Mo is?

Alex Violette:

Yeah, it's so the, the Chatan Moi from what I understand, just translates to wine and salt and and it's a fermented beverage actually. So it's a lime. With salt added and then covered in water, some sugar added. So the yeast has some stuff to work with and, and do a nice little fermentation on it. And then that ferment and makes this super concentrated, weny funky characteristic from the fermentation, very salty beverage, which is usually then diluted and then served. And it's very refreshing if it's, you know, hot weather, which it always is here in Saigon. And it's also seen as like, kind of like. healthy in a way it's like a, as a lot of fermented foods are, it seemed to be like something that's very good for you. It's

Mischa Smith:

good. And it's good for you.

Alex Violette:

I didn't say that.

Mischa Smith:

I did All right. So moving on like I said, the, the Chani it surprised me. Have you ever made a beer that surprised you in a way, like a beer that you're like, oh, this will be fun and, and whatever. And then it comes down and it's like, oh, actually this is doing way better than I expected. And people are loving this way more than I thought. And this is actually a much bigger thing that we've got on our hands than I realized,

Alex Violette:

Yeah. At, at risk of sticking with pastor street too much. Um, you've been here. That would, that would be Jasmine IPA because. you know, that's the most popular style of craft beer in the world, and that should be something that we lead with. Like, why wouldn't that be just as popular in Vietnam, you know? And brewing that with Jasmine flour is just the, the perfect pairing with hops. It's like, they're, they're both flowers. and they're flavors are very complimentary. So I thought it was a great beer, but I wasn't expecting much out of it because everybody was saying IPAs are gonna be too better. nobody wants bitter flavors. It needs to be sweeter. The flavor's gonna be too strong. And and yeah, we weren't really expecting much out of it, but then it quickly turned into the, you know, the flagship beer of the company.

Mischa Smith:

still the most popular craft beer in Vietnam. I'm gonna ask you something you might not want to answer. You don't have to, if you don't want to. But if you're, you know, obviously you're American, you you're familiar with the Mount Rushmore. You have four of the presidents up there. Mm-hmm If you had to do a Mount Rushmore of beers, do you have like four that really stand out as like either just, you know, the best you've ever had or like the most important craft beers? Maybe I think your favorites would be better, but do it however you want Mount Rushmore.

Alex Violette:

Oh, Four on Mount Rushmore, right? Yes. Let's see start with the the moose brown hill. Yep. Getting into it after that really got into uh, lado mom, Canadian beer, the end of the fucking world. absolutely. From there I was getting very into wild fermentations and um, Was it bam beer from jolly pumpkin, just a three and a half percent, super white, easy drinking wild, a great, so that one really inspired a lot of beers that I brewed after I had tasted it. And then we're gonna finish that off with one of my own with Jasmine IPA, I

Mischa Smith:

Uh, I know from conversations that we had back in the day, early days of the tap room that you're a very modest and humble guy. You don't like to, you're like, you're, you're good at deflecting credit to other people on the team. But when you, when you step back and look at where. Beer was in Vietnam, not just craft beer, but the beer industry in Vietnam. When we started in 2015 and look at it now here, like seven years later, more than 60 local craft breweries in Vietnam. Like, do you ever think about what your role was in, in building that scene and kind of your legacy in the Vietnam craft beer industry? Or is that like just something that you don't spend any time on?

Alex Violette:

The short answer is no. I don't don't think about that. I, I would say that coming in, we, we had no idea what what we were gonna do for beers, right? Like what, what was gonna be our attitude and approach to craft beer in Vietnam? How were we gonna market? What, what did we expect the reception to be? And from the start we uh, we said we're gonna use the, these non-traditional ingredients that, that really highlight the, the flavors, the agriculture of Vietnam, so that this isn't something that you could just do anywhere. This really has a sense of place. And I think that that is really spread throughout the industry, using the flavors of Vietnam and incorporating that into the beers. And I think that. very proud that we, we started with that and we've stuck with it. And the other thing would be quality. We knew that um, Hey there, you didn't really have any competition when we were starting, you know, so you could brew, however you wanted to, you could use some less expensive hops or you could, you know, maybe cut a couple corners to make it cheaper. and we said that that was never gonna be something that we did. We we, we had this kind of like, a idea that we could pick up this tap room with the beers in it and drop it onto Pearl street in Boulder, Colorado, and the beers and the business would be successful there at one of the highest quality standard craft beer cities, you, you know, that you could put it into, and we wanted to do that to set that quality standard for Vietnam. And I think that you know over the years, you know, in the, the Asian brewing scene. I think Vietnam does have a lot of respect for having very high quality beers and, and making things that are really tasty and incorporating some, some fun stuff into the beers with with these non-traditional ingredients.

Mischa Smith:

Awesome. So back then, like, did you ever imagine there would be more than 60 local craft breweries here in Vietnam, or like, does that number seem low to you now? Like seven or eight years later? Are you surprised at where the industry is? Or is this

Alex Violette:

I would say that we, we did expect it, but we didn't think it was likely. And that's why we were saying we, we, that was one of the reasons for setting the quality high is that, you know, that things move fast in Vietnam. So if something's successful, there's gonna be a lot of. Very soon. And if we could make the way that you compete being that quality and consistency is the standard, then, then that's what can really grow a market. And we, we identified that at the start that if the standard was, you had to have great beer, that people are gonna like it, we're gonna find people that like these flavors appear. But if there was um, you know, other motivations besides quality coming first, that it might just be somebody's first experience with craft. Is really underwhelming. They, they don't, you know, see themselves being a craft beer person. and then that I think would not, not help grow the industry as fast as it did. So yeah, we, we were kind of planning, hoping that that would happen. But we also thought it was a long shot and shot

Mischa Smith:

awesome. So Alex. How does your uh, your wife Bethany cross over into your craft beer journey? I know you guys both worked at ups slope for a while. Did you meet there

Alex Violette:

or did you know each other before we yeah, we met at a craft brewery. We worked at a craft brewery together and we've started craft breweries together. So we, and all of our friends that we've made are a lot of people that we met through craft beer. very, very involved, I guess. With Bethany, I craft beer is a big part of almost any milestone that I can see in our lives. Like with us meeting or us moving across the world together, or us getting married or having a daughter. And the first place that our daughter goes other than our apartment is a craft brewery tap room in Saigon. It's it is definitely been present at every point in our relationship in some.

Mischa Smith:

Awesome..So for people who maybe are listening, who don't know you or your story obviously you came here. Started pastry brewing company. You're here for a while. And then after your daughter was born, you, you guys went back to the states and started another brewery there, Elmont so sticking with Vietnam for a second. Was there a lot that you learned about brewing while you were here in Vietnam that like wasn't in your toolbox, maybe back in the states before you came here?

Alex Violette:

I would say the thing that I learned about brewing was that beers start as stories. A and that starting with intentionality and a story behind where this beer is coming from is something that, that I, I, I would say I learned out here because in the United States everybody's had an IPA before everybody's had this brown nail before, and you're brewing them as close to the, the standard style guidelines that you can to hopefully win this medal and be a very successful brewery. And. Out here. It was about introducing beer to people. It wasn't about, you know, winning a medal to stand above the crowd or of the beers that were already there. It was having something that was interesting that had a story that somebody would say, Hey, I think I'm gonna try this. And after they try it, I really appreciate what's going on there. and then after, you know, kind of doing that purposefully at pastor street, I started to see the same thing back in the United States that. People were buying beers because they liked the charities that the brewery supported. They knew the owners of the brewery and thought they were great people. They liked buying things local and keeping their money local. And, and it wasn't just the flavor of the beer. It was the entire story and attitude behind the, the beer and the brewing it and the people that I had never really put together until coming to Vietnam. Brewing these beers and having to, to introduce to people that had never had a craft beer before, and then like a light clicked in my head, I was just like, that's what we've been doing. It wasn't just the flavor of the brown ale. It was that we were, you know, the brewers would hang out in the tap room with the people, drinking it and share stories. And we all lived in the same neighborhood and enjoyed, you know, the same activities of when cycling together or when hiking together. It was. it was always there in front of me, but I never really put it together until after brewing and in Vietnam.

Mischa Smith:

I know from obviously from knowing you and talking to you that before you came back to Vietnam you had some other options as well. I know you and Bethany were talking about possibly moving south America to start a brewery there. Can you talk a little bit about your decision to ultimately move back to Vietnam and take over as CEO at pester

Alex Violette:

street? Yeah. So I was, I was on the board the entire time when I was back in the United States. And I have no idea why, but the thought just hadn't crossed my mind that, that, Hey, go back. And you know, you had a baby, like get that kid through high school. It just never crossed my mind that way. And somebody on our board of directors reached out and said, Hey, this crazy idea. I think that was literally the title. Crazy idea. Would you want to move back to, to Vietnam and be the brew master, but as well, the CEO and and I was like, yeah it was man, if it had been two weeks, three weeks later, maybe even like we might have had some wheels in motion where it would've been, Hey, you can't turn back. You made some promises or commitments or some plans. But the timing was spot on and that's what we.

Mischa Smith:

I, I feel like whenever we talk about different people at pastor street and just the journey that we've had there, that comes up a lot, the, the timing was perfect on so many different things and it had to be for us to be where we are now. And especially with me, especially with you, other people as well is just like, if it'd been a little bit later or a little bit earlier, or had like taken a different opportunity that maybe wasn't. Good of a fit. It just wouldn't have worked out the same way. And here we are

Alex Violette:

from, from my experience when, when things go well and, and it, and it goes right, you can absolutely, you should say we did some awesome things. We, we put this together in the right way. We saw something and follow through with it. But once that has happened, you also have to look back and say, Hey, if there was any sort of this timing or circumstance that was different and we did the same. we could have been in big trouble. And I think everybody really saw that in a direct way with with COVID and, you know, operating, you know, tap room restaurants as well as a beer company. And that's something that you never could have predicted. And man, if you were getting ready to launch your company and you had X set up and this was gonna go, and then all of a sudden the, the government locks you in an apartment You know, like I did a great job. It got COVID out, but man, you couldn't, you couldn't do anything. so yeah, there's definitely some, some luck involved in being right time. Right place.

Mischa Smith:

So this brings us to the portion of the podcast. I like to call factor fiction, Alex, I'm gonna make some statements about you or pastor street. And you're gonna tell me if they're fact or fiction and if it spurs a great story, go ahead and tell it. And if it doesn't, then we'll just move on to the next one. Okay. Okay. Factor fiction. The Vietnamese brewers at coochie where you brewed our first big batch of beers. Told you on the first day that you were doing everything wrong

Alex Violette:

fact.

Mischa Smith:

right. So can you explain why, why they were so horrified by what you were doing?

Alex Violette:

They, they had worked with some, some very smart people from Germany who had explained a lot of things about what you need to do to make this amazing beer. And basically everything that I said was the. All the way down to the, the types of yeast or when you add the ingredients it's uh, American craft beer brewing techniques are very different than traditional German brewing techniques. And that was very obvious from the start. But thankfully there was, there was trust in each other and we said, okay, you know, like this is crazy. I have no idea why you'd want to do it this way, but your, your check clear. The money came through. So we'll let you try this. and then kind of, you know uh, gave it a shot and then we've, we've been working together ever since.

Mischa Smith:

Right. So I think it was Bethany who first told me that story. And I, in my head, I'm always just picturing this crowd of Vietnamese guys huddled up in a corner, just like this guy's a fucking idiot. He doesn't know what he's doing. he's mad.

Alex Violette:

I mean, I had to, I had to look like just a space alien. Right. You know, like, what is this guy doing? The, this guy, you know, coming from. Growing up in Tennessee, coming from Colorado is now in Saigon at this brewery, just dropping things into tanks with chains and you know, it just, it, it had to be the craziest looking thing. And, and, and I wouldn't expect anybody to say anything different. It wasn't from any point of like being negative, it was trying to be helpful. It's like, dude, we're gonna try and help you. Like not fail here. right.

Mischa Smith:

Awesome. Next one you genuinely enjoyed the du and beer that you made

Alex Violette:

false.

Mischa Smith:

finally

Alex Violette:

I genuinely enjoyed that. We made it yes. And showed that it was possible. Yes. And then it just haunted me ever since we We had a standard keg, cleaning procedure that it became apparent that du and is very nonstandard. You know, we had a keg of IPA, fortunately served at our taproom and not somewhere else. And we have a customer say, I think this, this IPA taste funny. And I'm like, oh, okay. That, that's interesting. I've tasted all the beer at the brewery. Like, but maybe, you know there's something wrong with our draft line. Like, let me get some and I smell it and I'm just like, oh shit. The, the smells like Dian. And it turns out that any keg that we had, the Dian beer in had to be removed from service. We had to go track those down and just throw them out, cuz any of the cleaning chemicals that we had could not get that smell out of the inner workings of like the, the tapping mechanism and you know, the surfaces of it. It just, it stuck there.

Mischa Smith:

Right. So if anybody's listening, who's not in Southeast Asia or doesn't know what Dian is. It's this big fruit that's local to Southeast Asia. It smells like a mixture of like rotten eggs and dirty gym songs.

Alex Violette:

We, we were sitting at the bar one day and I, I noticed somebody looking at Bethany funny, just like, kind of giving her the eye. Yeah. I'm like, what's going on? Why did they? And then I realized they were pouring the D and beer and they thought somebody farted and they're just like looking around and it just kind of hit me. That's what happened.

Mischa Smith:

A German building had to be evacuated because some Asian kid brought in a during and they thought it was a bomb. So yeah, like they're, they're outlawed on certain subways, certain buildings like you just, you're not allowed to bring, do in because even before you cut into them, the smell is so distinct and so awful. and yeah, you made a beer out of it. I'm glad we made it year one and not year six. So there were many fewer kegs that were infected.

Alex Violette:

I only made six kegs

Mischa Smith:

Other, other people after you, Alex have talked about doing another version of do and I've thrown my body in front of it every single time. Next one The pastor street brewing company logo is actually a Tarus

Alex Violette:

false

Mischa Smith:

Okay.

Alex Violette:

great. Check it out.

Mischa Smith:

Look it up. Okay. So next it took 13 hours from. Completion of the contract to move our first big brew house from Hanoi to Vietnam

Alex Violette:

false. Oh, it took 13 days. Oh,

Mischa Smith:

that makes more sense. I mean, trick question. Cool. I got two more. Pastor street was the first craft brewery in Vietnam.

Alex Violette:

Depends on your definition. Love it. Yeah. There's and even, I think defining things is is not the best way to go if your say like, oh, well we were the first. that's, that's great. As long as you're, you're still doing that thing the best. Hmm. I think the it's something that you, you prove you earn, you consistently follow up with every day, just because you did something the first doesn't I don't know, necessarily make it any better eight years from when you did it. It's about what it is right now. So, so yeah, I mean, you know, definitely. You could go back through our history and find a whole bunch of things that you did first, and you could go through any other brewery that that's around and find things that they did first. You know, we were probably the first craft brewery in Vietnam to brew an IPA with a brew master that grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, whose name starts with a

Mischa Smith:

You don't know Aaron from Knoxville. He. He had a brewery.

Alex Violette:

I just stepped on the, on the landmine that I planted when stepped on it. But, but yeah, I think that's that's the way that, that I kind of see it is if you, if you create a first, then you have to create a context to define things. And once you start doing that, then you end up with, with a, a purity wa brewing beer in Germany where you can't even use nontraditional ingredients. Highlight the agriculture and flavors of a place where you are. So, yeah, let's just stop drawing, drawing these boxes and, and expand the context of craft beer.

Mischa Smith:

Sure. Because when has Germans being obsessed about purity laws ever caused any problems? Leave it in Niall. Leave it in pass. Okay. So last one factor fiction. Pastor street brewing company is the best craft brewery in.

Alex Violette:

Backed

Mischa Smith:

cut. We're done. I mean, I obviously that goes into your last answer about who cares if you say you're the first or the best, you know, the people decide who's who's there for people decide who was who their favorite is. It's so subjective, obviously craft that's the lovely thing about craft. One of the many lovely things about craft beer is how subjective it is. Everyone has their own favorites.

Alex Violette:

Well, it's my favorite and my opinion matters the most

Mischa Smith:

There you go. So fact, some people think off flavors are on flavors. Awesome. That's all I had. Alex, is there anything else you wanted to to say, to plug, to tell the people, listening to beer stories to kick this thing off?

Alex Violette:

I've. Had a fun time, sharing, sharing some stories with you and uh, look forward to sharing some more.

Mischa Smith:

So this has been episode one of beer stories. I've been your host Misha Smith, thank you to my guest, Alex violet. Thank you once again to our producer Niall Mackay our theme song was written by Lewis Wright. Thanks Lewis. And thank you for listening. See you next time.