Brewer Profile: “Friday Bob” Roepke of Flat Earth Brewing Company

G: Where is your favorite place to put one back?
BR: The place doesn’t matter. It’s the company I’m with that’s important.

G: What is it like brewing in the Historic Hamm’s Brewery complex?
BR: I absolutely love it. Flat Earth needed a larger space desperately so we could continue to grow. I now have a ton of room and was able to set up the brewery that worked best for me. I also love all the history surrounding the building.

G: What is the biggest misconception about your line of work?

BR: That it’s all beer and skittles. Being a brewer-owner is a ton of work. I typically put in 55–65 hours a week. But I do love what I do and it’s extremely rewarding.

G: What is the most gratifying part of your job?
BR: Having customers take the time out of their day to drive to our brewery and buy a growler of beer I made. It’s also very gratifying to have my beer served and sold in bars and liquor stores.

G: Is there a beer that changed your perspective on what craft beer could and should be?
BR: Fitger’s Wildfire. It’s a great example of what you can do with a craft beer. The beer is infused with chili peppers and is exceptionally spicy. It isn’t a beer for everyone, but for the right individual, it’s a spectacular beer. It shows that you don’t have to make a beer for the masses and can narrow it down to a niche group. That’s where the passion comes in.

Friday Bob

G: What’s the philosophy of your brewery?
BR: Brewing a wide variety of beers that we love, all while having fun and helping our community.

G: Any new recipes you are working on?
BR: Yes. I bet you’ll see them this year.

G: What do you see as the “next big thing” in the craft beer world?
BR: I think we’ll see more collaboration between breweries.

G: What about beer means so much to us as a society?
BR: Brewing beer has been a tradition throughout our history. We celebrate with beer and we drink a few when we’re having a bad day. We drink beer to be social and we drink beer when we are alone. In our society, beer is accepted in almost any situation.

G: Favorite beer and food pairing?
BR: American Pale Ale with pizza. For dessert, Framboise Lambic with tiramisu.

G: What are you reading right now?
BR: A manual to a canning line.

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About Brian Kaufenberg

Brian Kaufenberg is the editor-in-chief of The Growler Magazine.

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