Brewer Bytes with Highland Brewing Co.
An Interview with Joey Justice, Head Brewer
Posted on 4/4/2013 by Chops
When beer drinkers think of North Carolina breweries, a few names will immediately pop into mind. One of those is always the Highland Brewing Company. The brewery is based in Asheville, a city that has been crowned Beer City USA numerous times and it's easy to see why with breweries like Highland calling it home. Their arsenal of reliably tasty brews can be found on just about every beer menu in the region. Their wildly popular Gaelic Ale is by far one of the most beloved session beers in the state. We recently caught up with Head Brewer Joey Justice, who was kind enough to partake in Brewer Bytes.

Do you have a fond memory about building your brewery?

When I was told I did not have to scrub kegs anymore.

How do you feel about your overall success today?

Growth, happy in accomplishing personal goals. Maturity that goes along with it. Rate as well. Be patient, just because it happened does not mean it comes easily.

Where do you see your brewery in the future?

Sustainable within the region.

What do you feel sets you apart from other brewers?

Not an ego driven brewer. It's more of an outlet, inclusion of others that help create that final product.

What is your favorite beer or style to brew?

Pilsners are challenging. Still have not gotten what I wanted.

What is the most challenging beer for you to brew?

Delicate style.

What was your worst brewing experience?

Trying to do a demo with Steve at a golf course... there was a thunderstorm and the beer was bad. Experience was interesting though.

What was your best or most rewarding brewing experience?

Going in the opposite direction, instead of high gravity, he went sessionable.

What are your favorite beers outside of your own?

Jolly Pumpkin's beers.

What are your favorite breweries outside of your own?

Sierra Nevada.

Where is your favorite place to enjoy a cold pint?

Watching UNC b-ball.

What advice would you give to a new home brewer?

Ask questions and go in with an open mind. Don't think like you know it all. Practice.

If you could change one thing about the beer industry, what would it be?

Easier legislation for start up breweries.

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

People that appreciate what you do. Why is it so great? It's humbling and keeps you grounded. Doing something that impacts others lives. It's not about credit, it's about community.

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Joey Justice, Head Brewer at Highland Brewing Company
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