Beer connoisseur's hobby spills onto Web
For Woodbury resident Jeff Krenner, there aren't many things better than getting together with some friends over a glass of beer.
There's one caveat though - it has to be good beer.
"I'd be the guy who would bring his own beer to parties that had a keg because I didn't want to drink Busch Light," Krenner said. "I didn't drink to get drunk, I drank for flavor."
Krenner, who works as a warehouse supervisor for Best Buy, has taken his love of beer beyond just casually drinking though. Not only does Krenner experiment with his own home brewing, he has started introducing good beer to the world one brew at a time through his website, The Beer Spot, which encompasses all things beer.
"When I started drinking good beer, nobody else really did," he said, "so it started to seem like a niche."
The Beer Spot
Krenner started The Beer Spot with fellow beer enthusiast Mike Sweany six years ago after the two found themselves continually talking about beer on a fantasy football blog.
Before long, the beer thread became too big for its own good.
"It sort of just grew out of control," Krenner said.
The Beer Spot has a number of different features including beer reviews, descriptions of different beer styles, tips for home brewing and everything in between.
If it's about beer, Krenner's site will most likely have it.
"It's about getting people together to talk about beer," he said. "The biggest part of beer is community because, it is such a social drink."
Another facet of The Beer Spot is that Krenner will frequently host get togethers with visitors of the site, whether that is through parties at his home or meeting up at various beer events throughout the country.
Taking beer anywhere
It was only about two years ago that Krenner started brewing his own beer after winning a beginning brewing kit during a celebration at the Surly Brewery in Brooklyn Center.
"As with everything that I do, it just grows and grows," he said. "I got pretty into it"
Krenner said he naturally enjoyed brewing since he is also a fan of cooking.
"(Brewing) is a lot like cooking," he said. "They're both creative and there's some science to it too. There are technical aspects to it, but it really is whatever you decide you want to do."
On average, Krenner said he brews about once every five weeks.
At any given time, Krenner said he can have anywhere from 15 to 45 gallons brewing.
"It gets drank amazingly quickly," he said.
Krenner also has a cellar at home where he will often experiment with aging beers.
When he brews, or when he buys beer, Krenner said he typically gravitates more to the "sessional" beers, which typically have lighter alcohol content.
"I want to be able to have a couple and not be impaired," he said.
Additionally, Krenner said he also likes the "smaller" beers because they require a lot more perfection.
"A big beer with a whole lot going on, if you make a mistake you can barely even tell," he said.
In terms of specific beer styles, Krenner said his favorites are typically the India pale ales (IPAs.)
"I'm a hop-head at heart," Krenner said.
Through his brewing, Krenner said he likes to experiment with different flavors such as citrus hops, licorice or even blood orange.
"You can really take beer any way you want," he said.
A boom in beer
When Krenner first started his website there weren't many craft breweries around, he said.
So, Krenner said it is nice to see a growing popularity in beer.
"Back then, there wasn't a whole lot out there," he said. "Locally, there was just (St. Paul-based) Summit.
"Now, you go to any restaurant, and you've got craft beers on tap."
Krenner said he doesn't have any intention in starting his own brewery in the future, but he will continue to enjoy all of the unique beers the world has to offer.
But, don't ask him to pick his favorite brewery.
"That's like picking your children," he said. "But, the best beer is fresh beer."
Jeff Krenner's website can be found at www.thebeerspot.com.