Friday, March 02, 2012

Interview with Jon Wojtowicz from Short's Brewing Company

Written by  Ryan Ranspach
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Interview with Jon Wojtowicz from Short's Brewing Company

We had a chance to catch up with Jon Wojtowicz, self described, "Beer Liberator", of Short's Brewing Company at the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival. Short's Brew Pub is located in Bellaire, a sleepy town set in the beautiful Grand Traverse Bay area of Michigan. This year, they featured 11 of their beers on a brand new, 22 tap system designed just for events like the Winter Beer Fest.
The folks at Short's are widely considered the venerable mad scientists of craft beer in Michigan because their creations are as incredibly unique and innovative as they are wacky and esoteric. They have used maple syrup, blood oranges, marshmallows, and even tobacco, among other ingredients, in their brewing processes.

Since they opened in 2004, Short's' goal has been to remain small and to promote beer awareness & education through a process they call, "beer liberation". By "embracing the smallness", as they say on their website, they allow themselves the flexibility to create these small batch, experiment beers without placing a tremendous stake on their success while still focusing heavily on their few mainstay brews like Huma-Lupa-Licious. For instance, at the festival this year they served an experimental IPA called, "Juicy Tree", which was brewed using Michigan spruce tips, juniper berries, and cranberries. This is certainly not something for all palates and won't make them tons of money, but Short's embraces the idea of creating something totally different that challenges beer lovers to try something new.

Jon also told us about the exciting possibility of opening a tap room right in downtown Elk Rapids, which is where their brewing facility is located. They have found a suitable building space along the water and are in talks with the city and harbor councils on how to make this idea work. As always, we enjoyed chatting (and drinking) with the people from Short's and celebrate their continued success and quirkiness!