Skip to main content

When It’s Not Their Own: Here are 5 Drink-Makers’ Favorite Drinks

It’s been said that it takes a lot of beer to make wine. The opposite, too, is probably true. Let’s face it, when you’re a vintner in the thick of harvest or a brewer in the midst of another batch, just about the last thing you want to drink is something tied to work.

Hence, the countless beer-stocked fridges in cellars across America and brewers reaching for the wine key as opposed to the draft handle. With their advanced palates and industry expertise, they ought to know a thing or two about what to enjoy.

Here are some drink-makers’ favorite drinks.

Bobby Richards, Seven Hills Winery – Sierra Nevada Pale

Sierra Nevada Pale
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Bobby Richards is the associate winemaker at Seven Hills Winery in Walla Walla. It was the first wine operation to open in the downtown district of this charming, wine-adoring eastern Washington town. While Richards loves local beers Quirk and Burwood, his standby is a true icon. “Sierra Nevada is great because we can easily grab it at the grocery store and it is a benchmark pale ale,” he says.

Makes sense given that during the heat of harvest, shifts go well into the wee hours and about the only thing left open — especially in a town of roughly 40,000 — is the bodega down the street.

Ben Smith, Surly Brewing – Los Bermejos Rosado

Los Bermejos Rosado
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If Ben Smith isn’t drinking beer, he’s almost always drinking wine. The head brewer at standout Minneapolis brewery Surly likes rosé so much that he made a beer inspired by the wine.

He says his tastes are seasonal and right now he’s enjoying a wine made from the easternmost Canary Island, called Lanzarote. There, vines dig deep beyond the volcanic topsoil for nutrients while on the surface, a rock fence is established to fend off the incessant winds. “Conditions are extreme, to say the least, but this leads to great minerality and flavor, especially in the Rosado,” Smith says. 

Charles Bieler, Bieler Wines – Modelo Especial

Modelo Especial
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Charles Bieler is the winemaker at his eponymous label and frequent collaborator, with wine projects like Bandit, Charles and Charles, Gotham Project, and many more. Like a lot of busy vintners, he reaches for milder ales and lagers, such as Modelo Especial.

“I struggle with the big hops of IPA, as it tires me out,” he says. “I like beer to be light and refreshing.”

Josh Phelps, Grounded Wine Co – Armistice Brewing Fog Wash Hazy IPA

Armistice Brewing Fog Wash Hazy IPA
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Josh Phelps launched and makes wine for Grounded Wine Co. As a California producer, he’s in tune with what’s going on in his neighborhood, especially from a beer standpoint.

“I’m really enjoying the hazy IPAs from Armstice Brewing Company,” Phelps says. “It’s a brother-and-sister team doing some really cool stuff out of Richmond, California. Definitely worth checking out.”

Gavin Fine, Roadhouse Brewing – Grounded Wine Co. Space Age Rosé

Grounded Wine Co. Space Age Rosé
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Gavin Fine, too, has his preferred refreshment, but in the form of an Old World-style wine. The co-founder of Jackson Hole’s Roadhouse Brewing opts for a summery classic made from Grenache in the Central Coast of California.

“I love the way a beverage can transport you to a totally different time and place,” he says. “Beer aside, there are very few beverages that are able to do this as consistently as a crisp rose.”

The wine takes Fine straight to a busy French café table, where he imagines himself indulging in wine and moules-frites.

For more recent beer action, check out these great infused beers.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
The freshest pilsners to drink this spring
This crisp, refreshing style is perfect for the warm season
Beer foaming over the glass

Winter is firmly in the rear-view mirror and we’re zooming toward summer like a beer-fueled Winnebago. The season of barrel-aged stouts, imperial porters, and other dark, malty, high-ABV beers is over. It’s time for the lighter beer to get their time in the proverbial sun.

Spring is a time for light, refreshing beers like IPAs, wheat beers, and of course, crisp, thirst-quenching pilsners. While we love all crushable, sessionable beers during the season of rejuvenation, we especially love the latter.
What makes a pilsner?

Read more
5 fan-favorite budget bourbon bottles, ranked
We picked 5 of the best budget bourbons
Whiskey glass

If you’re a whiskey drinker on a budget, your best bet is bourbon. While you can find deals in the single malt scotch whisky world and with other types of whisk(e)y, the best bargains can be found in the bourbon realm.

For those new to this sweet, mellow whiskey, in order to be called a bourbon, it must fit a few parameters. First and foremost, it must be made with a mash bill of at least 51% corn (although many bourbons have a much higher percentage). Secondly, it must be made in new, charred oak barrels, be distilled to no more than 160-proof, added to the barrel at no more than 125-proof, and bottled at a minimum of 80-proof and no more than 150-proof.

Read more
4 fan-favorite budget gin bottles, ranked
There's a lot of value to be found in the gin world
Gin

We get it. Gin isn’t for everyone. Those who don’t enjoy this distilled spirit believe it tastes like a cup of boozy flower water. But those who like gin enjoy the myriad flavors, including juniper berries and various herbs and botanicals.

Other un-aged (or lightly matured) spirits aren’t known for their over-the-top flavor profiles. White rum is known for its very light, muted sweet, sugary, vanilla, and light fruity aroma and flavor, and vodka is distilled and filtered to have as little taste and aroma as possible. Gin, on the other hand, is known for its exceptional flavor.

Read more