News flash: People in Central Oregon love beer. Breweries and brewers in the area are aware of the stakes that come with producing in such a hot spot, so when you get recognized by the public for your skills behind the beer scene, it's basically the equivalent of winning a local Oscar.
You've probably tasted a Sweet As (this year's Best Light Beer winner) or maybe even a Descender IPA (which won second-best IPA this year) from Bend's GoodLife Brewing. If you have, then you're about to get more familiar with how those beauties are made, because Tyler West of GoodLife is taking home the win for Best Brewer in Central Oregon.
A brewer in some capacity for over 15 years, West joked about confronting his bosses to find out which one was responsible for getting him this recognition—but the proof is in the beer.
"One of the most rewarding things at the end of the day is to come sit out here at this beer garden and just quietly have a pint," says West, as we sit at the brewery. "People are just conversating. They're talking about their bike rides they had during the day or whatever. Maybe they had a bad day and this is the best part of their day."
When asked what are his favorite things about brewing, the answer was quick and easy: "Beer and people." West just loves what he does, which is probably why he's gotten this love back.
"To be voted best brewer is like 'no way!' Cause I have so many friends that are doing amazing things at the brewery they work at," West tells the Source. "It's totally humbling, for sure. It also makes me wonder who's voting [laughs]. How does that happen? There's so many good brewers in town."