Meet the Brewers is an ongoing series to highlight the individuals who make the beer at our Wilmington breweries. Check back every week to see the latest interview. All photographs provided by Brian Lantz Photography. Check out his instagram at @brianlantzphotography
Blair Ferguson is the head brewer at Wilmington Brewing Company. Brewing was a hobby for a large portion of Ferguson’s life before he decided to begin brewing professionally. Recently I asked Ferguson about his favorite beer to make.
Where are you from?
Winston-Salem, NC .I attended Mineral Springs Elementary School. Go Bulldogs!
What first got you into brewing?
I’ve always liked to make things. I discovered home brewing when my interests turned to beer in college.
I had to give it a shot. It was fun to make different beers and share cheer with friends. It still is.
How long have you been brewing?
As a hobby, off and on as life allowed for around twenty years. I have been brewing professionally since 2014.
What was the first beer you made?
My first brew was an American pale ale. Luckily, it was drinkable and I continued brewing. American pale ale was really the first beer style to showcase the amazing aromas and flavor of American hops. I think it inspired a lot of brewers and its influence continues as evidenced by the popularity of IPAs today.
What is your favorite beer to make?
I really like making new beers. Getting creative with recipe formulation and seeing how it turns out is gratifying. Fortunately, we live during an exciting time for beer. Consumers are receptive to trying new and different brews. Craft beer is a great marriage of tradition and innovation.
What made you want to start brewing on a larger scale?
I wanted to make a living doing something I love.
Is there anything you do differently in your brewing process that other places do not do?
At its heart, brewing is a traditional industry. So a lot of processes are similar. That said, we are a very quality focused brewery and are always open to tweaking our process to ensure the best product we can make. If we discover a method that makes better beer, we will use it.
What is one thing you want your consumer to take away after trying your beer?
Hopefully, our beer sets the stage for healthy conviviality. A great sensory experience from tasting a fresh product made with care should enhance the moment.