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I’ve been a beer enthusiast for a long time now, and appreciate good food and drink in general. However, in early 2008 I finally decided to take the plunge into homebrewing my own beer, and have been addicted ever since. I attended the Siebel Institute and received the World Brewing Academy International Diploma in 2010, in preparation for a career in the brewing industry. I spent a year living in Denmark to work as head brewer for Søgaards Bryghus in the city of Aalborg, before returning to Chicago and beginning my current job as shift brewer at Goose Island. Below are some of my homebrew creations. Meanwhile, you can see what I’m doing professionally on my blog, at

Highbrau Brewing Co.

Not a real brewing company per se, this is the name under which I release my homebrewed beer. My love for beer mirrors my love for literature: A great deal of reverence for the classics, but a keen interest in innovation and the eccentric. I try to balance my brewing between interpretations of traditional styles, and wild brainstorms and experimentations. One beer I’ll brew to the specifications of a traditional German lager, the next I’ll brew something with bizarre ingredients and processes. High quality, good taste and a unique experience are all things I want people to find in my beer. Highbrau’s beers are named in reference and dedication to my biggest literary influences (with a few exceptions here and there, of course).

Finished Beers
(Check out the bottle design!)

All 2009 Beers

All 2010 Beers

All 2011 Beers

All 2012 Beers

2013 Beers

Discontent Winter Mild 2013 – Last year’s Golden Naked Mild recipe went over so well that it was a shoe-in for this year’s edition of Discontent Winter Mild! Flaked oats and Golden Naked Oats give this beer a rich, silky body in spite of its low alcohol.
OG: 1.042
IBUs: 18.1
SRM: 7.0
ABV: 4.42%
Brewed on 01/24/2013

Bokonon’s Best Bitter – Busy, busy, busy! An English-style ESB brewed with Briess Special Roast malt, and dry-hopped with whole-leaf Calypso hops. A refreshing drink to share with your karass.
OG: 1.055
IBUs: 34.8
SRM: 11.5
ABV: 5.95%
Brewed on 02/02/2013
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Missing Mile Coffee Stout – This rich stout starts out brewed with oatmeal and Briess Midnight Wheat malt, then gets dosed with cold-brewed Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso. A perfect breakfast for all the lost souls out there.
OG: 1.066
IBUs: 31.4
SRM: 40.9
ABV: 6.91%
Brewed on 02/12/2013
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Brevity Witbier – This slightly tweaked Belgian wheat beer is a refreshing way to welcome spring: Spiced with coriander, black peppercorn and thyme, flavored with the peels of fresh blood oranges and Meyer lemons, then fermented with a traditional Belgian yeast strain. With its prickly carbonation, creamy body and spicy flavor, Brevity is the soul of witbier.
OG: 1.046
IBUs: 17.2
SRM: 3.4
ABV: 4.85%
Brewed on 03/26/2013
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Dorian Gray 2013 – It’s back again! Pilsener malt, Tettnang hops and Belgian Trappist yeast come together to create a beer with simple ingredients, but complex flavor. Few things are more satisfying in the summertime than a pitcher of Dorian Gray!
OG: 1.055
IBUs: 30.4
SRM: 3.7
ABV: 5.74%
Brewed on 04/07/2013
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l’Optimisme Tripel – A revered Belgian style gets turned on its head with a bold, acerbic hand. This Belgian Tripel is brewed with a traditional malt bill, then spiked with a massive amount of American hops and a touch of pink peppercorn. Dangerously drinkable, with a harmony between fruity Belgian yeast and citrusy hop flavors, you might describe l’Optimisme as positively Leibnizian: The best of all possible beers.
OG: 1.081
IBUs: 58.5
SRM: 5.2
ABV: 9.43%
Brewed on 04/22/2013
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Orciny Porter – Hidden between styles lies this beer, delivering all the flavor of a robust porter with the alcohol and drinkability of a mild ale. A breach of expectations creates a delicious drinking experience.
OG: 1.049
IBUs: 32.8
SRM: 32
ABV: 4.33%
Brewed on 05/06/13
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Ailes Grisette 2013 – Reformulated and simplified, this refreshing, low-gravity saison is brewed with rye malt and Styrian Goldins hops. The blending of two different strains of saison yeast gives this beer a unique and uplifting flavor.
OG: 1.036
IBUs: 22.8
SRM: 3.3
ABV: 4.3%
Brewed on 06/08/13
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The Prisoner – A pale ale brewed using only Maris Otter malt, and an experimental hop varietal that doesn’t yet have a name – only a number. But it’s not just a number: It imparts citrus, floral and honeydew melon characteristics sure to make waves in the hop world.
OG: 1.046
IBUs: 36.6
SRM: 4.6
ABV: 5.25%
Brewed on 07/01/13
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Captain Trips 2013 – Guess who’s back! The infamous Malört-barrel beer makes a return, paying homage to Chicago’s most notorious spirit and delivering massive amounts of flavor. With its black rye saison base, hefty Chinook dry-hopping and an infusion of Malört, this beer may be more than you can stand.
OG: 1.063
IBUs: 45.4
SRM: 27.0
ABV: 7.2%
Brewed on 07/01/13
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Castlewood Old Ale – The first version of this beer was brewed at Søgaards Bryghus in Denmark, and was never released due to problems with the barrel-aging. Now it’s back in homebrew form and better than ever! Rich in flavor and deep mahogany in color, this beer gets additional flavor from “barrel-aging” with oak chips and Buffalo Trace Bourbon.
OG: 1.090
IBUs: 39.4
SRM: 16.4
ABV: 9.5%
Brewed on 05/28/13
[Have a glass!]