Brewer Bytes with Aviator Brewing Co.
An Interview with Mark Doble, Owner
Posted on 4/3/2013 by Chops
To make a name for yourself in a craft beer dense region like the Triangle area of North Carolina, it takes a special kind of flare. A focus on specialty ales, build a cool brewpub, etc. In the case of the Aviator Brewing Company, they made their mark simply with a interesting back story. What's with the airplanes? Well, back in 2008, owner Mark Doble started brewing beer in an airplane hanger out of sheer boredom. Fast forward to today and Aviator is now a well known regional staple (complete with those familiar propeller tap handles). I recently caught up with Mark who was more than happy to offer up some Brewer Bytes.
What inspired you to get into brewing?
I've always brewed beer since I was 16... just always liked the taste. I was living in Holland at the time and beer drinking was very accepted at 16.
Do you have a fond memory about building your brewery?
I traveled around the country picking up used tanks, brewing system, etc. Visited a lot of breweries and met some great people that I'm still in touch with.
Do you have a not-so-fond memory about building your brewery?
The expense of all the equipment!
How do you feel about your overall success today?
Where do you see your brewery in the future?
Hopefully we get to do some cool stuff like build a koolschip, more experimentation, build a lab.
What do you feel sets you apart from other brewers?
We love beer... we really really love beer and brewing. We like to experiment and we are not really concerned with our profit margin or cost to produce a beer.
What is your favorite beer or style to brew?
What is the most challenging beer for you to brew?
Higher gravity beers... >12%. We sometimes don't get the flavor profile we want.
What was your worst brewing experience?
When I was brewing in the hangar (where I started Aviator) and the sump pump for the floor drains broke... there was wort, water, grain, etc. everywhere in the hangar. I was standing in 2" of water all day... in the middle of winter and it was starting to freeze.
What was your best or most rewarding brewing experience?
I have never put much stock in beer review sites, awards, etc. I think the most rewarding experience is when I see someone come into the brewery and enjoy a beer we brewed as much as I do... that never gets old.
What is something surprising you learned about brewing?
The amount of taxes and paperwork that is involved.
What are your favorite breweries outside of your own?
Green Flash, Chimay, Boon, a lot of the nanos that are popping up have some great beer. I love the nano beer scene.
What breweries do you respect the most?
The nano guys brewing in a small garage... doing it just for the love of beer.
What are your favorite beer styles?
IPA, stout, bitter
Where is your favorite place to enjoy a cold pint?
In my hangar or at the brewery bar... with just a few folks.
How do you feel about beer reviewing and its impact on the industry?
To each his own I guess... I would never read a review to decide what beer to drink or buy. Seems like a popularity contest sometimes... once a beer gets a good review by a qualified judge then everyone else seems to like it... but not before.
How does it feel to have your beers reviewed on sites like BrewChief?
I don't read many reviews... but I take it all with a grain of salt.
What would you say to a beer snob who is hating on your brews?
He probably needs to go back and read the style description... not all beers are big, over hoppy, high alcohol, or have 4lbs of chocolate in them.
What would you say to a beer novice who is trying your brews?
What advice would you give to a new home brewer?
Have fun... that is what this is all about.
What advice would you give to a new craft beer fan?
Have a good time with beer and travel meet the people... that is what the beer scene is all about.
What is the best thing about being part of the beer industry?
Getting to know all the people that make all these cool beers.
If you could change one thing about the beer industry, what would it be?
Anything else you would like to say?
Thanks to everyone that has ever tried our beer... we appreciate your support and hope that we fulfill your expectations of a quality beer.