Community Beer Works will be opening in a few short months. We’ve been blogging weekly for a year and a half, but the people behind the beer may still be a mystery to many of you. To remedy that, Mondays will now feature a brief Q&A and profile of an owner of the brewery. Feel free to ask any other questions you have in the comments!
This week: Ethan Cox, President & Main Instigator.
Hey, how’s it goin?
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m nearly 40, married, with two boys ages 5 and 2.5. I went to grad school to become a psycholinguist, which I did, but now I make beer, which is at least as cool. There was a time in my life when people thought I looked a lot like Tom Petty, but not as much anymore, for which I am grateful because I always though he was pretty fugly. I am a big fan of habadashery.
What does a Space Ranger President and Main Instigator actually do?
Well, admittedly, I’m sorta making that up as I go along here. Apparently, I put together a team of ass-kicking, brewery-building, Carcassonne-playing, axe-wielding, hard-drinking, pasta-eating Buffalovers and drive them, like a whip-cracking Orc overlord into creating a nanobrewery. Along the way, I try to get us in the papers a lot and generate clever things to say & do.
How did you get involved in the CBW gang?
Me, Dave & Matt grew up together… when I came back to Buffalo in 2005, Matt’s mom was Dan’s boss, and I lured him to a bar, then into homebrewing, and finally into brewery making; really, it’s a sordid tale there and I assume his wife will never forgive me, at least not until he is rich beyond their wildest dreams, which CBW will doubtless have very little to do with. Gregory worked in my mom’s architecture firm, and we lived in the same apartment building, but at different times! Rudy-Bob was haunting good beer clubs, beer ratings fora, and operating on the fringes of respectability when I promised him shiny shiny kettles and Garrett Oliver-like superstardom, and candy. Chris Smith is actually a myth, a fabrication, some kind of Tyler Durden-esque figment of our collective imaginations, pushing us to make beer & soap. You know, the normal tale. We were all at this one party when a wizard in a grey hat came in and, well… you know the rest. Now that the dragon’s dead, we really need something to do next.
What started you down the rabbit hole that is good beer?
Timing is everything, and when the early 90’s wave of craft beer crested, there I was, almost-legal and living in Boston for college. So really, I blame Sam Adams, mostly. But also to a great extent Pete’s Wicked Ale and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Around the same time, I learned to homebrew, so not only was I drinking all these awesome beers, but I was de- and re-constructing them. At the same time, I was getting scientific training in Psychology and Linguistics, so naturally, I put that all together in grad school, when Matt and I brewed like fiends when we weren’t gaming… I donno. It sort of came upon me.
Duff’s or Anchor Bar?
I just don’t understand people who say Duffs. Really? It’s like saying Nylarthotep is cooler than Cthulhu. C’mon!
Anything else we should know about you? Any parting words of wisdom?
Do try this at home, but not at home, because you’ll never get a license to do it at home as far as I can tell. Also, remember our backup motto: safety second!