In this Brewer Profile, The Growler chats with Rob Miller of Dangerous Man Brewing Company.
By Brian Kaufenberg
Photos by Aaron Davidson
Name: Rob Miller
Works at: Dangerous Man Brewing Co.
Turn-ons: Citra hops, milk stouts, hip-hop, jam bands, family and friends
Turn-offs: Negativity, judgmental people
The Growler: What’s in your fridge right now?
Rob Miller: Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat, Fulton War and Peace, Indeed Hot Box, Surly Furious, and lots of kale.
G: What’s your favorite music to brew to?
RM: P.O.S. and tons of other hip-hop, Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti.
G: What are your other passions in life? Do they influence your brewing?
RM: I love being with my family, camping, backpacking, and fishing. I am a Minnesota sports fan from birth and love great food. These don’t really influence my brewing, but I like living a life that is fulfilling.
G: What would you be doing if you weren’t brewing professionally?
RM: Dreaming about it and still working at Whole Foods.
G: Who has been your biggest individual influence in brewing?
RM: That is really hard. My buddy Krishna taught me how to brew and I owe a lot to him. All the Minnesota craft beer experts that shared their tips and helped me along the way, if I had to pick one of these guys it would be Josh Bischoff from Indeed.
G: Where is your favorite place to put one back?
RM: Second floor at Mackenzie’s playing ping-pong with my crew.
G: What is the most gratifying part of your job?
RM: Hearing people tell me how much they enjoy a certain beer we made and seeing the taproom brimming with happy people. I also am so grateful to be doing something I love. I spent a long portion of my life trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing. It is an incredible gift to have found that and feel content.
G: Is there a beer that changed your perspective on what craft beer could and should be?
RM: Freshman year in college in Ashland, Wisconsin, I had the Rhode Scholar Stout from South Shore Brewery. It was the first dark, rich beer I tasted that was so smooth and amazing. My consumption of macro beers dropped considerably after this.
G: What’s the philosophy of Dangerous Man Brewing?
RM: Brew Minnesota craft beer that locals can brag about. Also, brew as many different styles as possible. We chose to not distribute because on top of brewing great beer, we wanted to create a neighborhood spot that was warm and cozy to be in, where families are welcome and anyone from anywhere can enjoy themselves.
G: Any new recipes you are working on?
RM: An all-German IPA, an Herbal Cream Ale, Dankensteiner (will release on April 20th), a Kolsch, and a hop bomb Imperial IPA.
G: What do you see as the “next big thing” in the craft beer world?
RM: More localization. More Minnesota-grown hops, barley, etc. Not just drinking local, but actually being able to brew local.
G: What is it about beer that means so much to us as a society?
RM: It brings people together. “Grabbing a beer” with a friend doesn’t mean a whole night’s commitment and it doesn’t have to be a special occasion. The beer is the vehicle for the conversation, the pursuant of friendship, the reason to meet someone new and strike up a conversation. I would love to say our taproom has the most amazing beer and that is why people come, but that is not why. They come to hang out with friends, to meet new people, or to leave their houses and surround themselves with the buzz of humanity.
G: Favorite beer and food pairing?
RM: I am old school, pizza and an IPA.
G: What are you reading right now?
RM: Captain Underpants to my son.
G: Are you a “dangerous man?”
RM: Only when I’m brewing. I’m actually a really laid back guy whose not dangerous at all.
G: How did the brewery get its name?
RM: My family (wife and 2 kids) went to Texas for a good friend’s wedding. We rented a house in Austin with a bunch of our best friends and their kids. I had a huge beard and pretty long hair at the time. The first morning we all were in the house together My best friend’s three-year-old daughter, whom I had never met (they live in Berlin, Germany), got startled at her first glance of me. She instantly ran and grabbed her mother’s leg and shouted, “Mommy, Mommy, there’s a Dangerous Man in our house!” The name stuck for the weekend of the wedding and ever since I’ve been called the “Dangerous Man.”