Kyle Fornek, Assistant Beer Buyer and Internet Beer Specialist for Binny’s breaks down why he picked Tallgrass 8-Bit Pale Ale and why he loves beer so much.
What’s this Pale Ale all about?
It is not over the top hoppy, and clocks in at only 5.2% ABV, meaning you can drink several at a time while it is 90+degrees outside without having to worry about having your pallet annihilated or passing out from hop induced heat exhaustion. Also it is Galaxy hopped; Galaxy hops have rapidly become one of the favorites among craft beer lovers.
*It also has a great looking video game inspired can, one that used to command a high trade value among beer can collectors when Tallgrass had limited production and distribution several years ago. The video clip Tallgrass made featuring this beer is also pretty funny.
Is there anything special about this brewery?
It is the first Brewery that Binny’s is carrying from the state of Kansas. All of their beers come in the 4-pack, 16oz can format, which just so happens to be a great package for the summer. Binny’s has a market exclusive on two of their beers, Buffalo Sweat and Oasis.
That’s fantastic! What food would you recommend pairing with this beer?
I am not at all picky when it comes to food and beer pairings—meaning I think a solid beer like 8-bit can pair well with just about anything, from pizza to spicy Indian food.
Good to know! What is a strong trend that you’ve seen going on in the beer industry?
Lower alcohol and drinkable hoppy beers like 8-Bit and the ones we featured in this blog post a few weeks ago. Also, canned beer.
As assistant beer buyer, you get plenty of insight in the beer industry… any insider info you can slip to us?
There is a mobile canning unit making the rounds through Michigan, and we are going to see cans from several breweries who have never featured them before, such as Saugatuck.
Cool! What impresses you most about the beer industry?
The willingness for people to wait in line for hours, sometimes even days. Doing things like camping out in tents for a beer when there are literally thousands of other amazing options at their fingertips. I waited in line for over an hour for Pliny the Younger in San Diego earlier this year. Half the fun is hanging out with the other beer nerds in line.
That does sound pretty entertaining! What’s the best part about working at Binny’s?
All the people you meet and relationships and friendships that you form, coworkers and customers alike. There is a sense of family among Binny’s staff that I think is very rare among similar companies.
You must get to experience a lot of different breweries. Any favorites?
One that stands out that we visited recently is Greenbush. Not just for their beer, but the food. They have a huge smoker out back (see below), and the smoked brisket sandwich was one of the best meals we have ever had.
Sounds yummy! So tell us, what is the “next big thing” in beer will be?
Hard to say. Over the years we have seen styles like sours, double IPA’s, and bourbon barrel aged stouts skyrocket in popularity. Maybe the next big thing will be a hop, perhaps someone will figure out how to cross Galaxy and Citra to create the greatest hop the world has ever seen.
That would be extremely epic. Outside of work related events, what are your hobbies?
I have always loved sports, I play 16-inch softball three times a week and like to golf and fish whenever I can. Same goes for animals, I have a spoiled rotten Australian Cattle Dog Pitbull mix that my wife and I rescued almost 4 years ago. I am also an active fishkeeper; I have a 6-foot long, 125 gallon African Cichlid aquarium in my living room.
That’s a lot of softball! Got a beer question for Kyle? He’s always fielding your beer questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.