Minnesota Homebrewer Spotlight, Part 1: ‘Bad Ass’ Bryon Adams

“Bad Ass” Bryon Adams // Photo by Chip Walton

As the Twin Cities gear up to host Homebrew Con 2017, the mother of all homebrew parties, at the Minneapolis Convention Center June 15–17, The Growler is spotlighting three local homebrewers that we think are pretty bad ass. And in the case of our first profile, we mean it literally. Meet “Bad Ass” Bryon Adams of Brooklyn Park.

A science teacher by trade, Adams started homebrewing in 1993 with beer kits from Midwest Supplies. “I was messing them up left and right,” he said. “It wasn’t until someone suggested that my buddy and I become beer judges that I got serious about brewing. We didn’t believe there was such a thing as a ‘beer judge.’ A few months later, we were in the class learning about the common brewing mistakes and off-flavors they resulted in.”

He went on to become a certified judge by the Beer Judge Certification Program and joined the Minnesota Home Brewers Association homebrew club to learn more about what and how other Minnesotans were brewing. He says he doesn’t have a favorite style to brew, but lately he’s been into SMASH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beers because he likes the simplicity of the aromas and flavors of the limited ingredients.

Adams brews about once a month, but says his day job, kids and other hobbies—including fishing, barbecuing, and motorcycles—keep him out the competition arena. While he may not enter beer into homebrew competitions, one contest we’d say he’s likely to win is that of Most Awesome Homebrew System.

Several years ago, inspired by this beast of a brew rig built by Texas homebrewer Lonnie McAllister, Adams constructed an indoor three-burner, natural gas fueled, automated single-tier Brutus 10 brew stand in his basement; it’s lovingly named The Bad Ass Brewery. Having helped brew a few batches with him in the Bad Ass Brewery, we can attest to its awesomeness. He also built a wall-length, double decker temperature-controlled refrigeration chamber for fermentation and serving beer.

Homebrewing is about more than just making beer for Bryon Adams—it’s a unique way to learn more about engineering and science. He nurtures this curiosity in others by inviting them over for a brew session or teaching them elsewhere.

“I usually let anyone come brew with me that wants to,” he said. “I love seeing people enjoy the craft and knowing they can do this too. I have been offering the Bad Ass Brewery as a fundraiser item at our school for the past three years. This year, I added an onsite BIAB (Brew in a Bag) class, which was a hit. The participants now want to start a ‘Chemistry Club’ at school.”

You can see more of Bryon Adams’ brewing adventures on Chop & Brew, a webshow locally produced by the author of this profile, Chip Walton, and you can find Adams hanging out at Homebrew Con 2017 on June 15–17.