My name is Aaron Young. I am the Head Brewer at Champaign County Brewing Co., where we brew JT Walker’s Restaurant & Brewery brand beers. Here are some thoughts about why I brew beer, what my philosophy is toward beer, and what I want our new brewery to be and represent.
Why do I brew beer?
Mostly, I brew because it’s fun. It’s a fantastic job to wake up in the morning and think about what I can do to make a better beer that day. I enjoy the small tinkering and changes I make to the beer, even knowing that most people will not be able to tell the difference. I enjoy, like a chef, how I get to think in terms of flavors. However, brewing is a science as well. It is an endless learning combination of technicalities and creativity. When someone tells me they like my beer, I have a proud feeling. When they ask for another glass, I want to drink with them.
What is my philosophy toward beer?
First off, it is to avoid using the words “philosophy” and “beer” in the same sentence. Beer is the ultimate drink for taking a break. When you have worked hard, and thought about too much, and need to relax, it’s time for a beer. When the plane lands, and you are officially on vacation, get a beer. When a friend calls and wants to catch up, go grab a beer. If someone unselfishly helps you out when they could be drinking a beer, buy them two because they deserve an extra. Now, if the beer being had tastes awesome, perhaps even remarkable, that will make the time spent enjoying it even better. I have heard a lot of talk about beers’ ability to pair with food. I’d rather get a beer with friends than go out to dinner with them. Then, if we get hungry, we can order food that pairs with the fantastic beer we are drinking instead.
What do I want Champaign County Brewing Co. to be and represent?
I want it to be part of the town. I want there to be the town hardware store, the town grocery store, the town barbershop, and the town brewery. I want the people of Mahomet to say, “This is our beer. It’s good”. I want people traveling through to notice how much is going on in town, and I want our brewery to be a part of that. Right now, I don’t see other small breweries as competition. I would love to go for a three-hour drive that took five hours because there were so many cool, small towns that you just had to stop and see. I think our brewery can be an integral part of this thriving community.