Head Brewer & Co-Founder of Austin Beerworks on Brewing
People of Austin Profile Series
A decade ago, brewer Will Golden’s two-week trip to Europe introduced him to Duvel, a Belgian strong golden ale. “I had never had anything like it before,” says Golden, who grew up in Maryland. “It started a chain reaction in my life.” After the trip, which included stops in Germany and the Netherlands, Golden had a strong desire to make and learn more about beer. In 2011, Golden and business partners Adam DeBower, Mike McGovern and Michael Graham started Austin Beerworks, an independent craft brewery in North Austin near the Domain. (Tours of the brewery are given on Friday evenings.) The brewery produces four core beers in design-driven cans—Fire Eagle, an American IPA; Black Thunder, a German Schwarzbier; Pearl Snap, a German-style pilsner; and Peacemaker, an extra pale ale. Success in the Austin market has come quickly for the line, which is locally sold at retailers including H-E-B, Whole Foods Market, Central Market, Whip In and Wheatsville Co-op. “I thought the city, being as awesome as it is, deserved better beer,” says Golden, 31. “Austin is probably one of the best beer cities to be in right now. We feel like we’re making a pretty sizable amount of beer and we only sell in Austin. And we still can’t make enough.” In a recent New Yorker story, Austin Beerworks was noted as one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the country, based on data from the Brewers Association. Golden says Austin Beerworks made 1,081 gallons of beer in its initial year, and this year the brewery likely will produce 9,000 gallons. “We do this not because we want to get rich,” Golden says. “We do this because we love beer.”
WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE WORLD YOU HAVE EVER VISITED?
Prague—it is a beautiful medieval city that was untouched by the world wars. The architecture, art and street musicians give a slightly surreal feeling…and they make the best pale lagers in the world.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF THE PERFECT MEAL?
Depending on the time of day—Tori Meshi from East Side King at night or biscuits and sausage gravy in the morning.
WHAT IS ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I love the Cure!
WHAT ARE YOUR TRAVEL ESSENTIALS?
Smart Wool socks. If you have never put a pair on then you are missing out and you should get some immediately. I am also slightly superstitious and they are good luck!
WHO OR WHAT MOST INSPIRES YOU?
Theodore Roosevelt…and people that think before they speak.
IF YOU WEREN’T IN YOUR CURRENT CAREER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER?
Bill Brasky—he is the man that all men aspire to be in their imaginations! Watch the SNL skit!
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
Being a good leader while being a good friend.
IF YOU COULD SHARE A MEAL WITH ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Anthony Bourdain or Steven Seagal. Anthony Bourdain because I find him to be the epitome of cool, and I would love to hear real accounts of his travels. Steven Seagal because he is a badass, also because he got so fat I would love to see how much he eats at one sitting.
IF YOU WERE AN INVENTOR, WHAT WOULD YOU INVENT?
The perfect hangover cure.