Last Saturday’s Cruxapalooza party on the scenic side lawn of Crux Fermentation Project celebrated the local brewery’s 10-year anniversary. I was lucky enough to sit down Crux founder and brewmaster, Larry Sidor, over a pint of his special 10th Anniversary IPA, which he brewed specifically for the occasion.
We discussed his plans to step back from daily duties at the brewery, beginning July 1, to spend more time on travel and volunteer work. He offered some sage advice for aspiring brewmasters. “Prepare to work your ass off,” he said. “Sure, there’s a lot of sitting around, drinking beer, and having a good time. And it’s a great fraternity. I can go to any brewery in the world, and they’ll help me with a problem. But conversely, it is a lot of hard work. And anybody that goes into the beer industry and thinks it’s not going to be hard work – that’s a fool’s errand. God help them.”
Sidor shared his inspiration for the Anniversary IPA’s flavor profile, which he freely admitted is all about him. “It’s my beer. It’s all about what I like, and I don’t care what anybody else thinks,” he said.
“As a brewer, I have certain preferences. I mean, I’ve been doing this for 50 years, and there are certain things that I love about beer. Sometimes they’re in fashion, and sometimes they aren’t. One of the things that’s out of fashion right now is malt. Consumers right now want beer that has no malt backbone, and it’s all about the hops. But I love malt. Malt is the soul of beer. I know it’s not popular, but I don’t care. So, this beer has the soul of some roasted Crystal 30-37 malt, some Special B, and some Crystal 75. On top of that, I added all these different hops and hop compounds to deliver a layered system of bitterness and essential oils that everybody should love.”
After tasting it, I wholeheartedly agree. God help anyone who doesn’t love