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Meet the Brewers

What is your favorite of the four ingre- dients in beer? Water, man! Everyone talks about malt and hops because they’re fun to talk about and they’re sexy ingredients; but for me, water is the most important ingredient. It’s the most critical ingredient. Bad water, bad beer. Water is a pretty dry subject, but for me it’s the most critical thing.

What’s the last non-Vivant beer you drank? Probably in Ludington at a beer festival. I had a Jamesport Brewing Company Alt Beir, and it was really impressive.

JACOB DERYLO Brewer at Brewery Vivant

When did you start brewing? I started professionally brewing in 2000 for New Holland, hung out at the pub long enough and they said they needed a brewer. I started homebrewing at 21.

What do you think of the West Michigan beer community? I think it’s awesome. We have a great scene going on here. I think there are a lot of great breweries that do really interesting beers, pushing the envelope a little bit … For pro- fessional brewers, we’re really open with each other. For advice, you just ask them what they did, and they’re ready willing to share information with you. Like a big family. —Ben Darcie / Photo: Brian Edwards

KEN MCPHAIL Brewer at Hideout Brewing


When did you start brewing? I started as a homebrewer in 1993, then worked as a packager for Bell’s in 1995. My first pro brewing was Big Buck GR in 2000. I opened The Hideout Brewing Company in 2005.

What is your favorite of the four ingre- dients in beer and why? Hops. There are so many varieties that lend to the taste profile. From spicy, grassy and floral to citrus. Plus, they are fun to grow and pick.

What’s the last non-Hideout beer you drank? Right Brain Shadow Watcher Stout

What do you think of the West Michigan beer community? It is great to be part of the West Michigan scene. We have a lot of big players on this side of the state. We also have a great “craft scene” still that focuses on small batch production and tends to be a bit more experimental and keep it interesting, and more or on the way. —Ben Darcie / Photo: Brian Edwards

JOHN SVOBODA, Brewer at B.O.B.’s Brewery

Quick Bio I’m a local guy – an Aquinas grad. I’ve been brewing beer for 15 years. I like to read, play guitar, swim and watch my kids grow up.

I love Michigan beer and am thrilled to be part of the culture.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve brewed? The chef collaboration. We combine beer, fruit, spices and herbs. Recently, we’ve had the Mango Chipotle and Smoked Blackberry IPA.

What are you currently working on? A series of fruited lambic.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in brewing? Barrel aging sour beers, because it takes so long and you have to be patient. It’s hard to wait nine months for a beer.

What’s the last non-B.O.B. brew you drank? Bell’s Octoberfest and Short’s Autumn Ale.

What do you do on your days off? I have an old farmhouse that I work on. I try to keep in shape and I like to garden. —Lindsay Patton-Carson / Photo: Ryan Pavlovich



HAGGERTY Brewmaster at New Holland Brewing Company

Quick Bio I started as a professional brewer in ’93. I worked out west at Big Time Brewery in Seattle and moved back to the Midwest in ’97. In 2001, I went to brewing school in Germany and started at New Holland right after I came back.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve brewed? I don’t really think of it that way. We make a brew called El Mole Ocho and use a variety of dried peppers.

What’s the last non-New Holland beer you drank? I just had lunch, so I had a Sparten Oktoberfest.

What’s on your brew playlist? I don’t really listen to the stereo. The pumps and motor and all elements of sound are

really important. You realize you have a problem by listening to the machines.

What do you do on your days off? I hang out with Danielle, my wife, and Collin, our son. We live on the west side, so we go to Frederik Meijer Gardens or John Ball Park.

Favorite beer style? The one I have in my hand. Ask me 10 min- utes from now and you’ll have a different answer. —Lindsay Patton-Carson


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