Q&A with Evan Hiatt – COO/Head Brewer for Six Row Brewing Co.

By Jeremy Sickel

Q: What is the quick background story of how Six Row Brewing Co. became a reality?

A: Six Row got its name from the six founding members; six guys with the common interest in producing great beer and making a business out of it.

Q: What does the future look like there at Six Row…what is on the horizon

A: Growth, growth, growth…we hope. We are in the midst of an expansion that could potentially quadruple our capacity which will make our distributor and ultimately, customer, very happy.  It gives us room to produce new styles while still focusing on our core styles like Whale, Porter, and Double IPA.

Q: It is football season…what beer from your lineup is best suited for tailgating?

A: I would have to say either the Whale or the Porter – both very easy-drinking beers, both great with food. The Whale is something everyone can enjoy and the Porter is great for the people who want something different but still very drinkable.

Q: Besides financing, what were some other hurdles encountered while building the business?

A: Lack of time it seems. There are too few hours in the day. In a perfect world, we would have the ability to talk on a regular basis to every account that sells our beer and each customer who has tried our beer.

Q: Has the burgeoning St. Louis micro-brewery scene helped or hurt you and why?

A: Definitely helped; people are quickly learning that you don’t need to look very far to find good (and fresh) beer. I think people really enjoy trying new and exciting styles of beer without having to look abroad.

Q: Mine is the Double IPA, what is your favorite Six Row brew?

A: Don’t make me do this… I do get this question and although they are all like my children, I really like the Porter as my go-to beer and our Plant No. 1 Pilsner as a seasonal. Don’t be shocked if my answer is different tomorrow though.

Q: If you weren’t a part of Six Row, what would you be doing with your life now?

A: Probably slaving away in a vineyard somewhere (I used to be in the wine biz). Although, I do miss it from time to time, the beer industry is a lot of fun!

Q: For people who don’t know, what is the extent of the commitment in running the operation there at Six Row?

A: Generally 5-6 days a week. Right now we are wrapping up fall festival season. Most people don’t realize festival “season” is about a 2 to 3 month commitment in the Spring and Fall with lots of great events going on for beer just about every weekend. In fact, we have to pick and choose which ones to participate in, there’s so many. As we expand, we will be able to make it to a majority of them.

Q: What is the most interesting part of the brewing process in your opinion?

A: Fermentation; as a brewer, you can only manipulate certain aspects of the process, it is ultimately the yeasts that do all the work. That is really when a beer blossoms into what you had on paper and in your mind. Always exciting.

Q: Crystal ball time…who wins the World Series?

A: Cards, oh yeah!

Learn more about Six Row Brewing Company here

Follow Jeremy on Twitter @kcpopflyboy

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