Friday, November 27th, 2015

Q&A with Three Magnets head brewer Pat Jansen

Ron Swarner

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Three Magnets Brewing head brewer Pat Jansen

When Olympia restaurateurs Sara and Nate Reilly dreamed up their community hub known as Three Magnets Brewing Co. they didn’t mail in their head brewer selection. Well … they sort of did. Soil superstar farmer and yeast yogi Patrick Jansen, an eight-year home brewer who influenced human behavior with his craft beer, was delivering mail for the U.S. Postal Service. A professional brewery with a British-style pub and deep sense of community was enough to sway Jansen away from Publishers Clearing House sad faces and dog mean faces. With Gravity Beer Market and Skep and Skein Tavern big beer expert Jeff Stokes as his Robin, the Yeastman cometh — all the way to the awards podium several times during the brewery’s first year.

So here we are, one-year later, with an anniversary and bottle release party Saturday at Three Magnets in downtown Olympia.

PEAKS AND PINTS: How do you feel, Pat Jansen?

PATRICK JANSEN: “All of these small time consuming projects are beginning to ripen and we took on bottling plus harvest season on the farm … I’m buried.”

PEAKS AND PINTS: You have to be proud of what you and Jeff accomplished this year. You grabbed a bronze medal for your Old Skook Barleywine at the Great American Beer Festival and Washington Beer Awards. You launched a barrel program and began bottling in your first year. You …

JANSEN: I don’t do proud too well, always something to work on, so I’ll glean a bit from the people around me. It’s great to see so many people excited about the beer and about the project in general. Three Mags is some peoples’ go-to beer now days and I know we have some of the cleanest, most reliable flavor forward beers out there.

PEAKS AND PINTS: What’s the story behind your recent collaboration with Wingman Brewers Tacoma?

JANSEN: The Wingman collaboration was an idea Ken and Becca came up with when they were on an adventure through Thurston County. They wanted to make a beer that utilized spent botanicals from Salish Sea Liquors. The idea was to make a Saison with us. I really don’t brew beers anymore complicated than adding fruit so this seemed like a fun way to do something else. Ken will do damn near anything once, like Cody from Mollusk, but with a little more sanitation. I’m glad these brewers are out there; it frees me to from having to swim in the deep end. I provided a malt structure to the beer and we used our house yeast. That’s it. A good Saison isn’t much more that some malt, some hops, and lots of yeast derived flavors. I had the beer when it was still real young but got herbal on the nose and herbed bread crust on the tongue with a pillow-y body. I have yet to see what we get on the bar.

PEAKS AND PINTS: What’s on the Three Magnets’ docket during year two?

JANSEN: This coming year will see some of our barrel-aged sour ales maturing, so we should be releasing a number of them. We plan on putting some on fruit as well — just a couple though … cherries, raspberries, wine grape. I’m not the biggest fan of forty different treatments to a single beer. Our sour red/brown ale is tasting great; I hope to have that packaged in February. Otherwise, more variety for next year’s Anniversary Ale, keep pumping out the IPAs, some non-Saison Belgian style ales, some English-inspired sour ales, more cloudy lagers, a true Berliner-style ale and bunch of stuff I don’t know about. …

For more details on Three Magnets’ one-year anniversary and bottle release party Saturday, click here.

THREE MAGNETS BREWING 1ST ANNIVERSARY AND BOTTLE RELEASE PARTY, 2-10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28, 600 Franklin St. SE, Olympia, 360.972.2481