The Crew reviews Rowley Farmhouse Ales’ Black is Beautiful and learns a brewer is on the move

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The Crew caught up with head brewer Wes Burbank, top right, to talk about the Rowley Farmhouse Ales version of Black is Beautiful.

Normally when the Crew gathers virtually to review a beer with the brewer who made said beer, we usually talk about the product, the process, and go over everything else happening at the brewery these days. This time around, as we sat down with Rowley Farmhouse Ales head brewer Wes Burbank to discuss their version of the Black is Beautiful imperial stout, we also got an update on a major job change on the very near horizon.

For those who have not heard the news already, Wes is making the move from RFA to Ex Novo, which he explains in the video. We also reached out to Ex Novo founder Joel Gregory and head brewer Dave Chichura, and they sent back some replies via email.

NMDSBC: What qualities do you feel Wes will bring to the position?

Joel and Dave: His production experience at Left Hand and Dry Dock suit him well to our main efforts at Ex Novo, while his time at Crooked Stave and Rowley will help us dig more deeply into mixed fermentation and sour beer production. He’s a hard worker who’s willing to go above and beyond, if necessary, and he takes great pride in his work.

NMDSBC: What will be among Wes’ first projects?

Joel and Dave: We’ll introduce him to the four sour barrels we have in the works and see what he thinks. We’ll then probably schedule some mixed fermentation brews and source barrels, plan fruiting, etc. Maybe we’ll ask him to make some seltzer, too. 😉

NMDSBC: Do you now owe John Rowley beer?

Joel and Dave: We have a great relationship with RFA that I expect will not change; brewers move around in this industry for a variety of reasons. (We are) excited to collaborate again with them at some point in the future.

For the rest of the story, click on that YouTube link up top. We will say that while Wes will be missed at RFA, we are quite happy to have him stick around in New Mexico and join the great brewing staff at Ex Novo. A big thanks to him for jumping on Zoom again with us, and to Joel and Dave for their responses to our quick questions.

Keep supporting local!

— Stoutmeister

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