Brewer Bytes With Triangle Brewing Co.
An Interview With Andy and Rick, Owners
Posted on 5/4/2012 by Chops
When it comes to local breweries, one of BrewChief's personal favorites is the Triangle Brewing Company out of Durham, NC. We love getting the chance to hang out with owners Andy and Rick. These guys are hysterical, always entertaining, and always more than happy to open their doors to beer fans. We caught up with them recently as our first stop on BrewChief's first birthday outing. Andy and Rick were kind enough to humor us with an idea we had, i.e. introducing beer fans to brewers through five random questions. So it's only fitting that we launch BrewChief's Brewer Bytes section with the Triangle Brewing Co. Cheers!

Do you have a fond memory about building your brewery?

Building Triangle Brewing Co. from the ground up has been an ongoing adventure. One of my favorite memories occurred prior to our opening. Andy and I flew up to Peoria, IL to dismantle and load our used brewery equipment from the now defunct Elm Brewing Co. We flew out of RDU at 5am, landed in Chicago and drove approximately 2 hrs. Once we arrived we learned that they equipment still contained beer in that was 6 months old. Their tanks were in the cellar of an old building in a tiny walk in cooler. We had to first drain all the beer out of them into a tiny floor drain before we could drain out all the CO2 and dismantle the tanks. We worked until 1:00 am and then went to get a bite to eat. Over dinner and a beer, Andy asked "Could there be anything else we could add onto this day?!" Before he told me it was rhetorical, I replied, "Yes, (my wife) Christina is pregnant!"

What is the most challenging beer for you to brew?

The most challenging or rather problematic brew has been our Imperial Amber. The first time we brewed it, I over filled the grist case and got the auger stuck. The grain bill is just so big that it pushes the boundaries of my brewhouse. The other most challenging beer has been the Xtra Pale Ale. There is just no room for error with this light crisp ale. Lucky for me we tabled it for awhile, then revamped it and now release it as our Habanero Pale Ale.

What are your favorite beers outside of your own?

People ask me this question on a regular basis. My response is typically, "Whatever is in my hand at the moment I am sharing a great time with friends." For me, my favorites are so situationally based. With that being said, I always steer towards what's local. I believe you can tell a lot about a brewery by trying their Pale Ale first. Then I order an IPA!

What do you feel sets you apart from other brewers?

By far and away, RUFUS!!! There aren't many brewers in the world that have a Patron Saint haunting their establishment. Rufus is the heart and soul of Triangle Brewing Co. He inspired us to open our doors with an 8% ABV Belgian Style Strong Golden Ale as our flagship in NC. Then he pushed us to the next level to can it. For those who don't know, Rufus is the dead guy that was found in our building's basement during renovations.

What was your best or most rewarding brewing experience?

The most rewarding moment for me happens every Saturday at the tours. Seeing people lining up to get a beer and purchasing beer to go with their hard earned money. It is very humbling and never gets old. People have so many choices of beers and things they could do with their free time, but a large group of them continue to spend their time at Triangle Brewing Co. So here is Cheers to you, for helping make what I do possible!

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Triangle Owners Andy and Rick
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