Why I chose Craft Beer
Hello my fellow Beer Lovers! My name is Sydney Porter, and I am the Head Brewer for Southern Yankee Beer Company. Southern Yankee Beer Co is a family owned and operated brewery! I am a Navy Brat (for those who aren’t military – that means I’m a Navy Kid), that’s traveled all over the US during my childhood with my family before landing in Texas. I studied at UConn for a Bachelors of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology because once upon a time I wanted to flit around the woods and become a fairy wood nymph. At least until I found BEER. Beer was the temptation to keep me within stainless steel forests, the sound of CO2 pressure releases, and a constant state of a steam bath. I have worked as a professional brewer for 3+ years; lovingly having the name of a yeast wrangler, hop doser, malt taster, and all over janitor.
I guess my story that is relevant to you all starts in my last year of college at UConn. My parents had been visiting me to have “the talk” – you know, the “what do you want to do with the rest of your life” talk. Sitting in a relaxed little coffee shop my Dad, Jess, proposed a radical (at least in my mind) idea that he and my brother, Alex, had been stewing on for years — a family run craft brewery. My Mom, Christina, and the Padre mentioned something about wanting me to train professionally as a Craft Brewer so we could do this whole venture properly; meanwhile a whirlwind of possibilities blew through my brain. The only facts I knew were:
1. I did NOT want to work in an office.
2. I like beer.
3. I’m a HUGE nerd, and biochemistry is fun.
4. Hell yes.
I didn’t know at the time that I would be delving into a world of wonderful collaboration, creativity, and an atmosphere of jolliness. The sound of a full taproom brimming with laughter, conversation, and sips of beer is on my top-ten playlist. I didn’t know that I would join a community of scientists, culinary geniuses, homegrown engineers, and sanitary specialists. Beer is so much more than just an afternoon pint with friends at happy hour. Beer is the thoughts, ideas, and dreams of those passionate people behind the scenes. Beer is history in a glass. Beer is where the world grew roots and continues to dig deeper into the collective international community.
I feel blessed that friends have tested my creations as we’ve built our recipe repertoire. Watching someone taste our Joose Pop IPA or RedX Express and witnessing a wave of satisfaction take over their face is why I toil away in the non air-conditioned steel tank farm in the middle of a Texas Summer!
I look forward to seeing where the demands of the community and inspiration takes me, moving in and out of different styles of beer. I make a personal goal of getting someone to try something new every time they enter our doors — there’s a beer for everyone! So lets tip a hat, yell some Prost, Salud, Kanpai, and a big Cheers, and get moving on new beer experiences!