Ask a Brewer: SweetWater’s Chris Meadows

SweetWater Brewing ranks 18th on the Brewers Association’s list of top craft breweries. They’re located in Atlanta, Georgia and widely known for their great beers and annual 420 Fest. SweetWater brewer Chris Meadows responded to our questions.

What’s special about your brewery?

The rate of growth we have had over the last few years has made this a very special place to work. It’s not as easy as it looks to brew on this scale and keep the level of consistency the same, but that’s always the goal.

Chris_MeadowsWhat’s your least favorite part of the brew day?

Inventory is always a doozy.

What is your favorite part of the brew day?

Sampling beers in taste panel, duh!

What was the biggest mess you’ve made making a beer?

That one time the mill broke and we had shovel 17,000-lbs of wet grains off the floor.

What’s the largest batch of beer you’ve poured down the drain?

On this scale, mistakes like that don’t go down the drain. You have to pay someone to haul them away in a tanker, the responsible way.

What’s your favorite beer festival?

My personal favorite is the Great American Beer Festival. You get to try so many amazing beers that are not normally found in your area.

What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve added to a beer?

For our annual Brew Your Cask Off event, we’ve had some folks add some really strange things to beers ranging from asparagus to salami seasoning.

Chris_Meadows2What was your happiest moment as a brewer?

The week we broke a record and brewed more 6,300-barrels in one week was a pretty heady moment for sure.

What dumb joke are people always making about your job?

Not so much a joke, but people always ask if we get to taste the beer on the job. The answer is yes, but only for specific stages of the process and in limited amounts. We can only punish our livers officially OFF the clock.

What beer should be served at your funeral?

That’s a question I’ve never thought about before. I’m sure my friends and family would pick something hoppy for me.

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