The Ontario Craft Beer Week is ramping up with the Spotlight Series, featuring the people behind the beer. Second up in the series, features our brewmaster, Dan Unkerskov! We got him to answer these questions.
Q1: What is your preferred beer style?
A1: A good, well-balanced one.
Q2: What is your idea of the perfect pint (include details of location, people, scenario)?
A2: Sitting on a sunny patio at Mikkellar Brewery in Copenhagen, enjoying any one of his pints in my home country, Denmark.
Q3: What do you find the most annoying or difficult part of the brewing process?
A3: For me, there’s no part of brewing that’s hard, it’s what I do! The most difficult part is the cleaning. It’s no fun, which makes it the hardest part though it is necessary. Brewers will say you spend 90% of the job cleaning and 10% actually brewing. They’re not wrong. You gotta keep it clean for Mother yeast!
Q4: Which beer industry person do you most admire?
A4: Emil Hansen, known as the Father of Yeast, a dane that isolated the strain of yeast for brewing. Before, it was just thought of as a divine right of god, a miracle substance.
Q5: Craft beard? Piercings?Tattoos? Any other body markings that tell a story of craft brewing?
A5: They call me the Moustache Man at Lake of Bays, so I guess that would be one. There’s a scar on my hand from when I was building a brewery up in Alaska. I was cutting and welding, ended up with 11 stitches.
Q6: What is your wildest/most extravagant beer ingredient?
A6: I’m a traditional brewer. Like the 3 generations before me, I believe in balance above all. Nothing wrong with going wild, it’s just not my personal taste. I’ve thrown in ingredients like spruce, maple, coffee and sarsaparilla.
Q7: What is your proudest beer moment?
A7: Seeing my grandfather and great-grandfather’s paintings hung on the wall as historic brewers at the Albani Brewery (1859) of Odense, Denmark.
Q8: What is the most disastrous brew you ever produced?
A8: Back when I worked in St Catharine’s, I had quite the miscalculation on a cooling system. We were doing an English bitter, and ended up freezing the 50HL tan. The 5% beer turned into a 12%. Beer is cooled from the walls of the tank so as the outer layer froze, the alcohol in it was pushed to the centre, where it concentrated.
Q9: Favourite pastime when you are NOT craft brewing?
A9: Oil painting or riding on my 94 Harley Sportster.
Q10: If you could have a beer with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?
A10: Darwin or Gambrinus, God of Beer.