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Exceptional Taste Q & A with Marcus Wyatt, owner of Windy Bridges Brew Co.

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Q: Have you always had a passion for beer and brewing? How does one develop their palette?

 

A: My first craft beer was Bell's Two-Hearted Ale around 2014-2015, which started my beer journey. I didn't get involved in brewing until 2018 when a coworker brought in some "mead" he made. Although not the same as beer, it struck my interest as to how he did it, and that opened the doors for brewing for me. The first beer I brewed was an Imperial IPA kit. I will admit that it wasn't good, but it wasn't bad either; it was enough to make me wanna dive deeper into the process. I continued to purchase brew kits until I was comfortable enough to make my own recipes. Once I got to this level, what started as a hobby became a passion. I tend to brew what I enjoy, which varies throughout the year unless there is an event I am brewing for. 

 

Q: It’s been stated that black craft brewers comprise less than 1% of the nearly 10,000 independent brewers. In your experience, what barriers do black brewers face that fuel this imbalance?

 

A: As I got deeper into brewing, the more research I did, the more I realized the under or misrepresentation of black brewers. Although  30-40% of consumers, we are under 1% of producers. I realized this is a problem that needs to be addressed. One of the issues is the lack of knowledge in the black communities about craft beer. The beer in our communities is low-grade malt liquors, denying the experience of good quality beer. This is only one barrier amongst many, another being a lack of resources. Brewing beer requires a general knowledge of chemistry, especially when dealing with yeast and the biotransformation of the hops in the wort. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship not only to become a certified level 1 cicerone but also to attend Point Park University for its brewing program.  I was working at a local brewery as an assistant brewer. This is why I believe people like Day Bracey and his event Barrel and Flow are important for the culture. It is a great show of representation of not only black brewers but artists, chefs, musicians, and everything in between. Not to mention, it was voted the best brewfest in America 2 years in a row! 

 

Q: Please tell us a little about which beers you will offer for the Bidwell Block Party. Feel free to get specific about the brewing process for your selection(s).

 

A: For this upcoming event, I am brewing one of my favorite recipes, a Creamsicle Golden Ale. This beer takes you on a trip down memory lane when you were a kid playing in the streets on those hot summer days, and you hear that familiar jingle. You and all your friends rush to the window and grab a creamsicle to cool you off between basketball games. This flavor and memory have been captured in a glass! Because this was a block party, it was only fitting to break this out. 

For more information on the Bidwell Block Party, including tickets and menu listing, click here.

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