Alan, a Colorado Springs native, has been head brewer at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company since 2009, brewing professionally for twenty years. His passion began at Colorado State University, where he took up home brewing while pursuing a history degree.
Well, Phantom Canyon was the first brewpub in the Springs and I remember how everyone wanted to work there. I was a home brewer who eventually opened my own brewery in 1996. We made great brews, but we weren’t that great at the business side of things. When I found the job at Phantom, I felt like I had growth potential here. And as a bonus, I could ride my bike to work. So far, it’s been a great company to work for.
There is a lot of freedom of creativity here. We strongly believe that bold ideas lead to bold beer. We focus on producing unique, interesting beers, unlike anything you’ll find at any other brewery in the Springs. We also like to go against the grain – we’ll serve stouts and porters all summer long, when normally brewers reserve dark beers for the winter.
Also, a little insider tip - our beer names come from inside jokes between me and other brewers and staff a lot of the time. It really is a highlight of the job.
Hmmmm… 20 years ago, Belgians were my thing. I still love them, but lately, I’ve been focusing on lagers. They’re fairly hard to make – and you can’t mask any flaws. But the fact that they’re so technically challenging gives you the opportunity to really show your ability. There’s just something super pleasing about making a clean, crisp lager.
I am partial to Cumin Dusted Hangar Steak with Streamliner IPA. People should also check out, Calamari with Alpenglow Hefeweizen, Lemon Tabasco Chicken with Streamliner IPA, Fish and Chips with Box Car Amber, and Coconut Cheesecake with Alpenglow Hefeweizen.
Let’s see… we have a beer dinner coming up in October. For this dinner, we get to pick the beers and then our chef will come up with the food that pairs well with each.
As far as our beers, we introduce something new on a weekly basis. Right now in our basement we have a sour project going on. So stay tuned for that one!
The highlight of my career, is my career; I took a hobby I was passionate about and made a living out of it.