A relatively recent inductee to the full-time ranks of beer brewers is a non-stop student of one of the world’s most consumed beverages.
Mission Springs Brewing Company hired the 35-year-old man recently as its head brewmaster, and Kevin Winter is starting to get the feel for the community, and its thirsty residents.
Winter was born in Pemberton, raised in North Vancouver, and comes to the Fraser Valley by way of Whistler Brewing Company, where he took over the reins as brewmaster two years ago.
Previous to that, his experience was limited to homebrewing, he said.
Winter has worked in bars and restaurants throughout his adult life, and after a friend raved about his homebrew to some others in Whistler, the company came calling and hired him. He admits to constantly having his head in a book about hops, malts or other facets of the brewing business, and completed his education through the Chicago-based Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology.
Winter said he felt right at home as soon as he came to Mission for the interview, and he gels with the direction in which the company wants to move forward.
“These [owners] are expanding, and they’re crazy about craft beer,” said the affable Winter. “The tour won me over.”
The Springs has expanded its brewing capacity, and Winter has been tweaking the house brew recipes — alongside consulting brewmaster Mark Simpson — and promises exciting times ahead for craft beer fans.
The reworked pilsner, now called Trailblazer, has been gaining in popularity, said Winter, and 25 cents from each pint is being donated to the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association.
Winter admits to being fanatical in his cleaning regimes in the brewery, and on his first day, he ripped out all the beer lines. The cleaner lines translate directly to crisper beer with better flavour.
A Meet the Brewer event is coming up Sept. 20, starting at 5 p.m. on the pub side, and Winter will have a cask of Bavarian fest beer ready for the event.
For more information visit missionspringsbrewingcompany.com.