Q&A with Zaftig Brewing’s new brewmaster

Written by on August 22, 2014 in Beer - 1 Comment

zaftig brewing coZaftig Brewing, the nanobrewery specializing in big, high-gravity brews, has brought on a new brewmaster. Dan Griffin comes to Columbus all the way from Scotland, fresh from a master’s degree in brewing science.

We asked the new brewmaster a few questions.

What got you interested in brewing?
When I was a small child I was very interested in the process of making root beer. For real though – I started home brewing as soon as I was of legal drinking age. Since then I have been more or less (more) obsessed with trying any example of beer and learning more. I’ve worked in multiple beer pubs and a year ago I started studying for my masters degree in brewing and distilling sciences.

Tell us more about your brewing education
The degree is a Master’s of Science in Brewing and Distilling Sciences from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh Scotland. The program is a little unique to brewing because it is a master’s degree. where most brewing programs are a certification or some other diploma. In regards to distilling, it is currently the only degree in distilling sciences in the world. The university and program are aligned with the IBD – the Institute of Brewing and Distilling which is an international program dedicated to educating and certifying brewers and distillers and is headquartered in London.

What brought you to Columbus?
I am originally from Columbus and although I haven’t lived there for a while I consider it my home. I do love Scotland but I had always hoped that Zaftig would have room for me upon completion of my program and the timing has worked out. I think Columbus has a ton of good stuff happening for small businesses and it is an exciting time to be involved in one.

What’s your experience at Zaftig been so far?
I’ve been involved with bits here and there. Brent is my brother-in-law and I guess you could say I was an impromptu consultant for the company over the last few months. I also was involved with the Wee Heavy recipe and its first brew – an American interpretation to a Scottish style of beer and a bit of a homage to my friends and time in Scotland.

What’s your impression of the Columbus brewing scene?
I think in the last year or two it has taken off and it is overdue. There are so many good beer bars and bottle shops in the area it is clear that Columbus has people who care about good beer and the infrastructure is ready for growth. I think people now can buy a wide variety of styles exclusively from local breweries which is very exciting!

Zaftig will be brewing a specialty beer to commemorate their 50th batch coming up in September. For the fall and winter months look for their big dark beers aged in bourbon barrels and fresh oak to hit the market in limited quantities. You can also hit up their Too Cans Extravaganza on September 20.

About the Author

Cheryl Harrison. Editor of Drink Up Columbus. Co-Founder of the Columbus Ale Trail.

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