Brewer Bytes with BridgePort Brewing Co.
An Interview with Jeff Edgerton, Brewmaster
Posted on 10/18/2012 by Chops
BridgePort Brewing Company is based in Portland, Oregon and is the state's oldest craft brewery. Those are some heavy shoes to fill for a brewery. After all, Portland is a multiple winner of the annual BeerCity USA title. BridgePort has been brewing up tasty beers since 1984 and they are still going strong today. Their beers have won numerous awards at home and abroad. Their flagship IPA even took a Gold Medal at the 2005 Brewing Industry International Awards in Munich, Germany. Needless to say, we were all very happy when brewmaster Jeff Edgerton agreed to partake in BrewChief's Brewer Bytes.

Where do you see your brewery in the future?

We are honored that we are part of Portland brewing history and very much want to continue that tradition and grow with the local scene. I love that beer has become a more respected beverage to pair with food and I hope that we can continue to promote that trend as well. BridgePort has grown slowly but steadily over the years and I hope that we will continue to grow and to respond to evolving beer tastes and a more "educated" beer palate. We will continue our quest to make our brewery as sustainable and efficient as possible.

What are your favorite beer styles?

My favorite beer style is this: a well-crafted beer that was made by a brewer that knows what he or she is doing. I enjoy malt flavors, hop flavors, yeast flavors, sometimes spice flavors; virtually all types of beer. Depending on the circumstances, the food that I'm enjoying, the weather, etc., I can be found drinking any style of beer from black and malty to pale and hoppy to Weissbier, to a light lager. They all have their place with me.

How do you feel about beer reviewing and its impact on the industry?

Online reviews of anything can have a powerful effect on a producer of products. Brewing is certainly not an exception to this. Most of what I see is OK. The problem, like anything on the internet, is that once it's printed it looks very official and authoritative regardless of who wrote it. I have seen thoughtful, insightful reviews and thoughtless, hateful reviews. I believe in free speech but I would just ask that online reviewers take a responsible attitude with what they post. I would also ask that people withhold opinions until they have tried the products for themselves.

What would you say to a beer snob who is hating on your brews?

I believe that everyone has a right to their opinions. Beer is food, and taste for food is truly subjective. If someone truly doesn't like our beers, nothing I say will "convince" them to like them. I might suggest another beer but I won't argue with them. I always ask that they give us a try again when we come out with a new beer.

What is the best thing about being part of the beer industry?

Although we are competitors, the people in the brewing industry have a strong sense of community amongst them. We know each other, we respect each other and we help each other at times. It is a very interesting and enjoyable career dynamic.

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Jeff Edgerton, BridgePort Brewmaster
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