How did you earn the title of Chief Watermelon Officer?
We’ve been brewing a Watermelon Wheat beer at our pub for 10 years. It’s an American style wheat beer that we ferment with 100% fresh watermelon. It’s a crisp, refreshing, tart wheat beer with a kiss of fruit in the finish.
My business partner, Shaun O’Sullivan, and I like to have fun with whatever we do. So instead of giving ourselves traditional stodgy titles like CEO or Brewmaster, we decided to call ourselves the Chief Watermelon Officer and Chief Hophead to help promote our beer.
We also learned very quickly that wearing silly watermelon hats and costumes is a lot fun and gets attention. So we usually have a posse of five people walking around beer festivals wearing watermelon clothing while singing a watermelon song.
We’re now brewing a lot of different styles, so I may re-think my title. But it was fun while it lasted.
Another example of pushing the envelope occurred three years ago when we had a massive world-wide hop shortage. Hop prices went from $8 a pound to $25-$30, almost overnight. Brewers couldn’t get hops unless they had contracts. It became very difficult for small brewers to brew the styles of beer that they wanted to make. We had the same problems. But instead of whining about it, we responded by making the biggest, hoppiest, craziest, double IPA that we could think of and we called it Hop Crisis! which recently won a silver medal at the Great American Brew Fest.