13 Questions with Austin Wiley – Spangalang Brewery

Name and title: Austin Wiley – Owner/Brewer at Spangalang Brewery

What was your first job in craft beer?

Bottling at Bristol Brewing Company, I moved from Manitou Springs to Denver to try to find a brewing job but just ended up commuting and working back in the Springs.  It was a brief stint at Bristol before I moved to Great Divide where I spent 7 years.  I started on the bottling line and worked my way up to Lead Brewer and ran the Pilot system and Research and Development program.

Did you have a different career path before you worked in craft beer?

I was Sou Chef in my parents restaurant in Manitou Springs.  I grew up working in my parents multiple business ventures including restaurants, Coffee shops, hotel and spa.  We did a lot of the construction work for their businesses ourselves.

If you were not in the craft beer industry, what kind of job would you have?

Chef, I would probably still be cooking in a kitchen somewhere.

What is the favorite part of your job?

Sharing my idea of great beer with passionate beer drinkers.

What is your favorite food and beer paring?

Pizza and Beer.

What is your favorite Colorado craft beer bar/restaurant?

Falling Rock.  It’s been around for a long time, I discovered a lot of my favorite beer there.  I even had my first sour beer there about ten years ago, It was the Duchesse De Bourgogne.

What is your favorite Colorado store to buy craft beer and why?

I’ve always enjoyed checking out the offerings at Mr B’s.  They have a broad selection of exceptional beers but don’t bury you in substandard suds.

What was the first beer you ever drank?  How old were you?

Olympia on my older brothers roof in Seattle, I think I was 12.

If you could have a beer with three people from history, who would they be?

Ben Franklin, Nicola Tesla and Leonardo Da Vinci.

When you’re not working, you’re ________.

Cooking, Hiking and drawing with my two girls.

What other Colorado craft brewer are you finding inspiration from recently and why?                                                                                                                                                                  Crooked Stave, TRVE and Odd 13 to name a few.  These Breweries are consistently making great beer while still pushing the boundaries of the industry.

What craft beer trend are you loving right now?

Cleaner Beer.  It’s becoming harder for breweries to peddle sub standard beer as the latest “wild ale”.

What craft beer trend are you hating right now?

All the hand wringing about “sellouts”.  Craft beer is here to stay.  If you love it, you can find it, and that’s not going to change.  Breweries will come in and out of fashion, just drink beer that you like.  What else matters?