We chat with Good City Brewing's Andy Jones about his brewing background, working in the new East Side space, and what type of beers to expect when the brewery opens in late June.
Good City Brewing (2108 N. Farwell Ave.) may not be opening until late June, but it’s already got a couple of reasons to be excited about it. For one, it’s conveniently located on the East Side in a large space ideal for a brewery. Also: its brewmaster, Andy Jones, has some serious brewing chops. Jones attended the master brewing program at University of California-Davis and spent time at Goose Island and Lakefront.
I asked Jones a few questions about Good City and his background.
AJ: Nope. I grew up in a small town west of Rockford, Ill. I did my undergrad at Northland College in Ashland, where I met my wife Jenny, who is from Hudson, and lived in that area briefly. Other than the course in Davis, Calif., and time at Goose Island in Chicago, I’ve lived in Wisconsin since 2002, and in the Milwaukee area since 2008.
DM: How long were you at Goose Island?
AJ: I wasn’t there long, just from June 2007 until January 2008. Even though it was a short time, it was an incredible learning experience. Goose Island was a jumping off point for many incredible brewers. Virtually every one of my co-workers from Goose has gone on to be head brewer, brewmaster or founder of other amazing craft breweries.
DM: Do you happen to know Kevin Wright of Third Space Brewing (another UC-Davis product)?
AJ: Kevin did the Davis program a couple years after I was out there, so we didn’t have a chance to meet until recently, after he moved back to the Milwaukee area to work on Third Space. I’m pretty stoked to have someone with his brewing chops want to come make beer in Milwaukee – hopefully we’ll have a chance to collaborate and share knowledge.
DM: I think you struck gold with the Good City location. Are you excited about that space?
AJ: Excited is an understatement. I’m ecstatic! I love the neighborhood, and the people around us have been incredibly welcoming and sharing in our excitement to bring a brewery to that part of town. The building itself was a brewery waiting to be built—the sloped floors and trench drain were there before we moved in.
DM: Do you have any styles that you’ll specialize in?
AJ: I try not to be a specialist, but overall, I’d say our products will share a clean, drinkable character. I don’t like to make beers that are very bitter or high in alcohol just for the sake of doing that. Instead, I shoot for overall balance and drinkability. My recipes tend to be pretty simple, and I avoid making “kitchen sink” beers. That said, a few of us on the team really like hops, and quite a few of our initial set of beers will be relatively pale in color, dry in body, and with significant hop flavor and aroma.