Editor's Note: Joe Postma is one of the most knowledgeable homebrewers I've ever known—he's always a great source of advice for others attempting to brew their own beer. His finely tuned palate—and truly delicious homebrew—impressed me back when he joined me for tastings for Serious Eats' first beer column, so I knew I wanted to bring him to the Drinks team as a resource for homebrewing recipes and troubleshooting tips. Got questions for Joe about homebrewing? Topics or styles of beer you wish he'd cover? Please leave them in the comments.
Name: Joe Postma
Occupation: Consulting Actuary
When did you first get interested in beer? When I moved to Washington for graduate school. The beer in the Northwest is fantastic, and the culture of craft brewing and brewpubs seems to be a natural part of everyday life.
How did you get started homebrewing? A friend I met at grad school had a beautiful 3-tier 10 gallon homebrewing stand, and I loved going over to help him brew. I would sit there and drink his homebrew while he explained the various steps he was doing. After I moved away, it was a pretty natural step to start brewing on my own.
What's your favorite beer for winter? My favorite commercial beer for winter is North Coast Brewing Co's Old Rasputin. My own homebrewed Imperial Stout is a close second. A couple of times I did a version where I aged the stout on ancho chilis and cocoa nibs, and that was a perfect beer to have on a cold and snowy night.
What's your favorite beer-and-food pairing? A darker sour beer like an Oud Bruin paired with a grilled steak.
What are your guilty pleasures? I eat a lot of gummy bears. Probably more than I should.
Describe your perfect meal. Freshly caught dungeness crab, garlic mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and Saison Dupont.
What food won't you eat? I have a really hard time with mushrooms. I want to like them, but I don't.
What drink won't you drink? Nothing yet.
What would you like to try but haven't yet? I've sought out Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout at least a dozen times over the last few years, and it always runs out just before I get there. Someday I hope to try it, but by now I'm afraid my expectations are too high.
Favorite food or drink person? Lately I've really enjoyed listening to Jamil Zainasheff's podcasts over at The Brewing Network. He has a lot of homebrewing knowledge and a great dry sense of humor.
What do your friends think of your food and drink obsessions? Most of the people I hang out with have the same obsessions, so it works out well. Everyone else just expects me to be the guy to bring beer to the party.
Favorite food or drink sites or blogs? Seriouseats.com. What more do you need?
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant and bar recommendations. Who's yours? Her name is Siri. She's really nice.
And what's the best recommendation she's ever given you?
Maku Sushi. It's a block from my house, but it's so nondescript on the outside that you can walk right by and may never see it. They do a yellowtail sashimi dish with red and yellow beets and toasted pine nuts that is to die for.
Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I love to grill. My grilled salmon with grilled vegetables (potatoes, peppers, onions and Brussels sprouts) is probably the best. I also like to grill steaks and jumbo scallops.