Interview with Jeremy Hilderbrand of Sentinel Peak Brewing
November 15, 2014
We had a chance to sit down and share a pint with Jeremy Hilderbrand, Brewmaster and Co-Founder of Sentinel Peak Brewing. We chatted about his start in homebrewing, how Sentinel Peak came about, and the challenges he faced opening up his own brewery. Check out the full interview below! Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and Sentinel Peak: My name is Jeremy Hilderbrand, and I am Head Brewer and Co-Founder of Sentinel Peak Brewing Company located in Tucson, AZ. Sentinel Peak is a 3 BBL (90 gallons-at-a-time) nano-brewery/brewpub which opened its doors on January 9th, 2014 and is owned by myself, Matt Gordon, and Taylor Carter. We are all full-time firefighters and, of course, craft beer enthusiasts.
Q: Tell us about your first brewing experience: After experiencing great German beers while serving overseas, apparently I complained to my wife too much that I couldn't find any good Dunkels in America. So... she bought me a homebrew kit for Christmas and told me to "do it myself!" I had never brewed a beer before, and it was pretty messy, long, and a bit overwhelming. But in the end.. the beer was great because I made it myself! Q: What has been the biggest challenge in the transition from homebrewing to opening your own brewery? The biggest challenge in the transition was being able to hit the correct numbers at every stage of the brewing process in order to achieve a product with consistent quality. Because of our small batches, there are going to be minor differences from batch to batch, but consistent quality is something we always strive for. Q: What is your favorite beer to brew? I love brewing our 1811 Desert Blonde Ale. This is the beer that I introduced at a local Firefighter Charity Brew Off and got fantastic feedback. It's the one that made me think I could open a brewery. Q: If you could share a beer with one person, who would it be? Hands down I would have to say Han Solo. Come on. That guy is so cool. Q: Any advice for new homebrewers? Any advice for homebrewers looking to take the next step in opening up a brewery? Advice for new brewers: Make what you like. You are going to be the one drinking it, so you better like it. And of course..... DO IT! Advice for anyone looking to open a brewery: DO IT! And of course, make what you like, because you are going to be the one drinking it!