Featured Beer Tweeter: ALEX P DAVIS

Written by The Beer Wench. Posted in Blogger Interviews

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Featured Beer Tweeter: ALEX P DAVIS

Published on December 11, 2009 with No Comments

DRINK WITH THE WENCH PRESENTS:

The Beer Tweeter Interview Series

Beer bloggers are not the only people using social media to share their passion for and knowledge of craft beer. Twitter is one of the most important tools in today’s craft beer industry. Beer tweeters all over the world are influencing and impacting the way people interact with and experience craft beer. The Beer Wench has embarked upon a mission to interview as many beer tweeters that she can — from all over the world.

Are you a beer tweeter? Do you want to share your story? Send me an email!

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INTRODUCING BEER TWEETER: ALEXANDER P. DAVIS

Full name: Alexander Peter Davis

Twitter handle: @AlexPDavis

Current location: Los Angeles, CA

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Background “Snapshot”

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Santa Monica, about a 30-minute bike ride from where I currently live. I loved living in SoCal so much I’ve stayed for college and now law school. I can see myself perhaps going elsewhere for a couple year spurt or two, but I see myself ending up back here long term.

2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?

I played everything growing up. Football, baseball, basketball, soccer (only for a year, sports which prevent the use of one’s hands are not my bag) and even some roller hockey. I picked up weightlifting and golf in high school and still enjoy both on a consistent basis.

3. How old were you when you had your first beer?

Excellent question, I have absolutely no idea. If I could remember, it’d probably be earlier than I care to admit, and the beer would likely have been awful, and drunk in great haste in order to achieve a buzz.

4. If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it?

See above :P

5. Where, if applicable, did you go to college? What did you study? What additional activities, organizations, sports did you partake in during college?

I studied History and English at UCLA and I am back there for law school, finishing up my last year, typing this while I should be studying for my impending Business Bankruptcy final. I didn’t play any collegiate sports, but I was active in Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and its attached charity organization, Push America. The only sports I played were of the intramural variety and I dabbled in student government.

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Craft Beer Epiphany

Every craft beer enthusiast has at least one pinnacle craft beer experience that completely changes ones perspective on beer. I refer to this mind-blowing moment as a “craft beer epiphany.”

1. What was your first craft beer epiphany? Recall as many details about it as you can:

Now this I can remember ;^) In my last two years of college, I noticed myself striving to become a better beer drinker. I’d pick up a sixer of Sam Adams Winter Lager when the season was right and I’d grab the Holiday Classics 12-pack as well. However, these beers rarely found their way into glassware (eek!). I eschewed macro lagers and starting ordering whatever Hefeweizen was on tap at Maloney’s (the local college bar, now called O’Hara’s). However, that Hefe was ice cold and served with citrus (no doubt to cover up its less-than-awesome taste). In other words, I wanted to drink good beer, I just didn’t know how yet.

It wasn’t until I graduated that I had my true craft beer epiphany. A little ways into my two-year foray into the non-academic, a good friend of mine, Joe Moore (@jminsc76) invited me to go with a work friend of his to a bar in Pasadena called Lucky Baldwin’s. I’d never heard of it. I checked it out online, looked at the menu and my head started spinning. I was intrigued. I decided to go.

When we arrived at the bar I was dazzled and awed by the taplist. There was so much I’d never seen or heard of. I ordered something familiar whose name currently escapes me. As it turned out, that keg had just blown. So the bartender suggested a Rogue Dead Guy. I’d heard of Rogue and thought I’d give it a whirl. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t knock my socks off. I suppose I can now say this of most of Rogue’s beers (with Shakespeare Stout and a couple others being notable exceptions). I sipped and we waited for Joe’s friend. He arrived and we grabbed a table upstairs where we each ordered one of Lucky Baldwin’s signature pot pies (which are really good by the way, it’s worth a visit just for those).

As I reached the bottom of my glass I was wondering what to order next and Joe’s friend volunteered to order something for the table. I was game. About five minutes later the waitress (or bar maiden if you prefer) came back with a large bottle with a tan label bearing the name “Westmalle.” For those Belgian enthusiasts out there, you know this was the Tripel. We even got the proper glassware (a goblet, I thought this incredibly neat at the time). We distributed the golden liquid and I took my first sip…HOLY CRAP! went my craft beer neophyte brain. BEER CAN TASTE LIKE THIS!?

As I sipped and enjoyed (and got buzzed, not knowing or being conditioned to the higher ABV of the Belgian brew), we struck up a conversation with the couple next to us. Seeing that I was reaching the bottom of my glass (yet again) the gentleman in the couple suggested I try Kasteel Donker. I looked at the menu and found that the beer had a titanic ABV of 12%. I had to have it. I hastily grabbed the bar maiden’s attention again and ordered up the ale.

Dark brown and foreboding, it came out of the stubby 11.2oz bottle and into my newly fetched goblet. I took my first sip…HOLY CRAP AGAIN! If the Westmalle hadn’t thrown me hard enough down the proverbial rabbit hole, the Kasteel had me talking to the doorknob and chasing a white rabbit! I was in (slightly drunk) heaven. That night was my epiphany and I’ve been chasing the craft beer white rabbit ever since.

2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:

I had the hophead epiphany like most. I can’t recall a specific time or place, but I know that my taste in IPAs and DIPAs has certainly evolved and I now prefer a more nuanced, fruity, IPA with dry, earthy undertones than one that’s more herbal or grassy with a more pronounced bitterness.
My major, more recent epiphany has been with sours. My first were Duchesse du Bourgogne and Rodenbach, but they didn’t really start me down the path to a love of microbacteria and brettanomyces.

Rather, I have Mr. Vinnie Cilurzo and his fine beverage known as Consecration to thank for that. The first time I had it was on tap at Father’s Office 2.0 in Los Angeles and I paired it (rather adeptly, if I say so myself) with duck confit salad. I was in heaven. Then I bought a bottle of Rose de Gambrinus from Cantillon. Holy crap was that sour…and incredibly tasty. Then I had La Folie on tap, and OMFG! I had to try everything I could get my hands on.

Ever since, it’s been about tracking down the most amazing and rare sours I can find. There are too many to list, but like Wenchie, I enjoy the Gueuze. However, I think I’m more partial to American interpretations of sour beers. Duck Duck Gooze, Cuvee de Tomme, Veritas 004, Consecration, Temptation, La Folie (gotta love a beer that comes from giant oak vats!), etc, etc. However, I still return constantly to Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Boon, Rodenbach (usually Grand Cru) and others. Yay sour beer!

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Beer Talk

1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?

Sours (see above), Barrel-Aged Strong Ales (Imperial Stout, Barleywine, Old Ale), IPA/DIPA

2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?

Wow, talk about a tough one. In no particular order: 1) The Bruery (innovative and amazing) 2) AleSmith (do they make a less than great beer?) 3) Russian River (both Plinys and Consecration, end of conversation)

3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?

I’d probably work at The Bruery. I’ve met a lot of people who work for them and they’ve all been awesome. Also, they turn out well-crafted, innovative and unique beers. I think I’d enjoy myself a lot, plus I’d get to stay close to home.

4. Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer?

Not yet (note the “yet”).

5. Do you have any beer certifications (BJCP, Cicerone, Siebel, American Brewers Guild)?? If so, what are they?

Not yet (again, note the “yet”).

6. What is your favorite beer and food pairing?
Something dark, sour and fruity with something fatty, savory and thick (think Rodenbach Grand Cru with Beef Stew or Consecration with Mt. Tam cheese).

7. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?

In no particular order: 1) Beer Advocate (I’ve learned so much there and it’s really the reason my beer horizons and knowledge are as broad as they are) 2) The Bruery’s Blog (going back to the first post when Patrick hadn’t even found a location yet is both incredibly interesting and inspirational and now they post news about The Bruery’s goings on there) 3) beernews.org (I go there daily for the latest information, and I wanted to get a rise out of Wenchie by leaving her off :P)

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The Personal Side

1. What is your current day job?

I am a law student at UCLA.

2. If you could change your career at this very moment, without any restrictions on what you could do, what would you want to do and why?

I’d probably own a somewhat upscale (think Stone Bistro or Father’s Office), craft beer slinging brewpub with really good food, an even better tap and vintage bottle list and I’d invite talented brewers to come brew beers on my system. Half of each batch going to the brewer and the other half going on tap at the pub.

3. Are you married? Children?

Girlfriend. No kids (thank God).

4. Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?

I love food too, and scour my surrounding area for new and unique eats. I play golf as often as I can (which isn’t as often as I’d like). I love riding my bike around town, I feel like I get much more of a feel for where I am and getting around on my own power is very satisfying. I have both deep and shallow philosophical discussions with friends and am an avid and amateur student of human dynamics. I love figuring out how and why people do things (I think my middle school addiction to Loveline has a lot to do with this). I’m also something of a cinefile.

Off The Beaten Path

1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be and why?

I’d be a dark, high ABV, American Sour, like Consecration. Unique and bold, yet nuanced, I take time and contemplation to fully understand. However, once you’ve taken the time necessary to wrap your head around me, you’ll be well-rewarded…and drunk.

2. You were caught smuggling beer illegally, which has now been made punishable by death. Right before you are sent to the executioner, you are offered one last beer. What beer would you chose and why?

Melange #3 from The Bruery. It’s a blend of White Oak Sap (a 100% Barrel-Aged Wheatwine), 100% Barrel-Aged Papier and Black Tuesday. It’s so complex, unique and huge in flavor. I could drink it all the time and keep finding new flavors. Plus it’s really high in alcohol, and if I’m going to die, I want to be reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally drunk.

3. If I contracted you to brew a beer (or design a beer recipe) called “The Beer Wench” — what style would you chose and what, if any, extra ingredients would you add?

It’d be an American take on a Gueuze, probably brewed at a higher ABV than usual for the style (something like 8-9% like Mariage Parfait). Given your origins, in year one, I’d brew the base beer and let it spontaneously ferment in a field somewhere in upstate New York. Then, I’d transfer that beer to oak barrels once the wild yeast started fermenting away.

In year two, I’d brew the base beer in the Midwest and let it spontaneously ferment in a field somewhere in Ohio. Again, that beer would be transferred to oak barrels.

Towards the end of year three, I’d brew the base beer again, this time in Northern California, allowing it ferment outdoors in Santa Rosa. This would be the new lambic traditionally used to carbonate a Gueuze. Once all the beers are blended at the end of year three, the beer would have the unique character of each place it was made, but would really not be from any one place, just like our Wenchie ;^)

4. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

I really liked PJ’s answer, and it’d probably be mine if I were more creative, but I’m not gonna steal. I’d like to have the power that Hayden Christensen had in Jumper. I’d never have to make travel arrangements ever again and I’d be able to get an authentic expression of whatever food or drink I wanted at any given time. Of course, this is assuming there is no organization headed up by Samuel L. Jackson that’s trying to kill me.

5. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?

I once spent ~24 hours with The Beer Wench.

6. What are your thoughts on bacon?

See Anthony Bourdain.

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