Mikey Salo of Fulton Brewing Company: A Black Hole of Possibility

A Brewer Profile Chat

By Joseph Alton

Name: Mike(y) Salo
Hometown: Virginia, MN
Works at: Fulton Brewing Co
414 Sixth Ave N, Mpls, MN 55401 || 612-333-3208

Turn-ons:
Girls that snowboard, women that can sing—like well, like fierce, her [looks over shoulder], and girls that give shit and can take it.

Turn-offs:
People that talk when they have nothing to say, close-mindedness, and people who think they’re on some other level than the rest of us.

Beer Dabbler: What’s in your fridge right now?

Mikey Salo: Allagash Victor Ale, Mikkeller Sleep Over Coffee IPA, and Lost Abbey Avant Garde.

BD: What’s your favorite music to brew to?
MS: The Black Keys and Iron Maiden probably get the most play on brew days. Honorable mention would go to BB King radio on Pandora—or some iteration of blues.

BD: What keeps you inspired?
MS: The black hole of possibility provided by the endless combinations of ingredients, processes, equipment and our palettes. I stay excited thinking about how a few simple raw ingredients like hops, malt, and water have limitless potential to become various flavors, mouthfeels, and styles of beer.

BD: What would you be doing if you weren’t brewing?
MS: Ideally, touring with a band and playing guitar or trying to get paid to ride a skateboard. Realistically, I would probably be using my food science/nutrition degree, staring at a microscope at a research and development lab for a food conglomerate.
BD: Where is your favorite place to put one back?
MS: Easy. On the roof of my cabin in northern Minnesota.

BD: What is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
MS: I think most people think I sit around all day drinking beer. It’s not that glamorous. I spend most of my day cleaning—elbows deep in spent grain, spent yeast, and hop trub.

BD: When did you discover craft beer?
MS: Growing up, my dad had pretty decent taste. I was never really exposed to domestic beer in my formidable years. Our fridge was usually full of stuff like Leinenkugel’s, Moose Drool, and Summit.

BD: When did you decide you wanted to brew professionally?
MS: In college. I learned a little bit about the brewing process and fermentation in food science classes at the University of Minnesota. I designed a 5 gallon, all-grain home brew system into the kitchen of my college townhouse. The ‘fermenting hall’ was my bedroom. There must have been eight carboys in there. I’m proud to say I have never brewed an extract beer. I guess it’s safe to say I’ve wanted to become a brewer since my first batch of home brew. The library at the U of M St. Paul Campus became wealth of information for me in the early days. There is a whole section of brewing textbooks. I must have spent hundreds of hours there reading and gaining brewing knowledge.

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