“I Drink Beer For A Living”: An Interview with Petaluma’s Ken Weaver

Wayne: Congratulations on recently becoming the beer editor for All About Beer Magazine.  How did this opportunity come to you?

John Holl All About Beer
John Holl All About Beer

Ken: Thanks! This has been a few months in the making, at least. I’ve written for All About Beer somewhat frequently in the past (they were also my first major gig back in the day), and they’ve been encouraging of my career at a number of points along the way. I started talking with the magazine’s main editor John Holl late last year, and things just started to click from there as we got that conversation rolling. Many of the things I’d been involved in previously synced with what they were looking for with this new beer editor position.

Wayne: I see your from back east and and studying Physics at Carnegie-Mellon University in PA – Did you learn about beer in the frats or dorms?  What got you into writing about beer?

Rogue shakespeare oatmeal stoutKen: I had the good fortune of having a roommate and good friend (thanks, Kyle!) who’d grown up with fancier taste than I had. He got me into positive vices, like cigars and craft beer. We shared an apartment in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill area our senior year, and we were pretty much the only people we knew knocking out cases of Rogue’s Shakespeare Stout.

Wayne: Petaluma is obviously a mecha for craft breweries – Was it coincidence that you moved to our brew town, or did you feel this would be a good area for you to write about the industry?

 Ken: We just love this area in general. My wife’s originally from Marin (Nicasio specifically), and when we were planning to eventually move out/back to this coast from the DC area, we’d traveled from Seattle to San Diego scouting out potential places to settle down. Sebastopol and Santa Rosa (where we lived for a bit before moving here) proved a bit too distant from SF for us. But Petaluma was perfect.

Petaluma Hills BreweryWayne: Petaluma has becoming a craft brew mecha as is Sonoma County with Lagunitas, Petaluma Hills, Hen House, and 101 North.  Tell us how you think of Petaluma as a player in the Craft Brew Industry?

Ken: Lagunitas is pretty much universally known to anyone who drinks craft beer in this country. And it’s been great to see folks like HenHouse and Petaluma Hills getting off the ground with well-made beers that, overall, go in a very different direction from what Lagunitas focuses on.


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