My Life as a … Brewer
Here’s a brief look into the life of Scott Smith, a 41-year-old Mt. Lebanon resident who owns (and creates brews at) East End Brewing Co.
Q: What’s a day in the life of a brewer?
A: I get to do a bit of everything. Last week I was fixing a pump, scrubbing out the inside of a kettle, designing a seasonal beer, writing the brewery newsletter and setting up for Growler Hours [hours during which customers can pick up half-gallon jugs (growlers) of beer: Tues., Thurs. and Fri., 5-7 p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m.]. Oh yeah, I also did a good bit of brewing, too.
Q: What is your favorite beer to brew?
A: Sometimes I feel like I enjoy brewing beer more than drinking it. That feeling only lasts until 5 o’clock, when I come to my senses. But I’d say that I’m most excited about making a style or type of beer that I previously knew little about.
Q: And to drink?
A: Well, that depends on the situation. A field-green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette cries out for a sparkling wheat beer like a Belgian Witte or a Hefewiezen. Spicy Indian food or Mexican is absolutely amazing with a crisp, hoppy IPA. A simple bowl of vanilla ice cream takes on new life with a pint of something rich and toasty like an American stout—even as a float!
Q: I see that you consider your beer to be “green.” Please explain.
A: It’s not by adding green dye No. 12 as you might think. The beers are all natural and unfiltered with no preservatives or chemical additives. Our packaging is 100 percent reusable. Spent grain goes to a local dairy farmer. Spent hops go to The Homewood Community Garden for composting. And all paper, plastic and metal go to recycling.
Q: How many beers do you usually have brewing at once?
A: Around eight. But sometimes, if I have tank space, I’ll sneak another into the lineup.
Q: What does it take to do your job?
A: I think you probably need to have a couple of screws loose to get into this business—
especially true now, with what’s going on with hop shortages, malt prices and new taxes.
The next couple of years will be rough for the small brewer.