Over a Pint: Spider City's Brady Schaner | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Over a Pint: Spider City's Brady Schaner

Bend's newest beer judge is also potentially Bend's newest cicerone

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Brady Schaner is one of the newest Certified Beer Judge certification program's beer judges and is on track to become Bend's newest certified cicerone. When he passes the arduous exam, he'll be our town's ninth. Most of them work at 10 Barrel Brewing, but Schaner, for the past year, has brewed at Spider City Brewing. So what is a BJCP judge and/or a cicerone? Like sommeliers are to wine, these folks have demonstrated a wealth of knowledge about beer styles and how to properly identify them (and, for the latter certification, to serve them). In short, Schaner is proven to be a big ol' beer nerd. But that didn't help us get our Burgundy of Belgium.

Spider City brewer Brady Schaner is settling into Bend and his new role as certified beer judge. - BRIAN YAEGER
  • Brian Yaeger
  • Spider City brewer Brady Schaner is settling into Bend and his new role as certified beer judge.

I met up with Schaner at Brother Jon's Alehouse to celebrate becoming BJCP certified, which is the first place I've ever seen Duchesse de Bourgogne on draft. Our server informed us the keg kicked immediately before we ordered, hence, going Duchesse-less. Duchesse is a piquant, sour Flanders Red ale, a style that originated in the Middle Ages and is nicknamed the Burgundy of Belgium for its vinous properties, but we were decidedly drinking and talking beer.

He ended up first enjoying a style that's only deemed ancient or historic in terms of contemporary craft beer—an amber ale—from Backwoods Brewing in Carson, Washington. I got Double Mountain Brewing's pilsner, spiced up a tad with a kick of rye in the grain bill. Had we drunk at his employer's taproom, we'd have had no problem finding great beers from among the 20 taps, but it's good to get out of familiar environs.

That said, Schaner and his fiancee are relatively new to Bend. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, native took an awfully circuitous route here, from earning his chemical engineering degree in Pittsburgh to working in his original field in Bavaria, which moved him to South America, where he met the future Mrs. Schaner while backpacking in Patagonia. But it was after attending the Master Brewing Program at the University of California-Davis, one of the world's most preeminent brewing programs—take that, Germany—that he applied for the brewing opening at Spider City and the couple moved here sight unseen. His one-year anniversary at the brewery is Sept. 7.

He's already chomping at the bit to brew a doppelbock (the strong German lager is his favorite style, especially Tröegenator from Tröegs Independent Brewery in Hershey, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg) on Spider City's pilot brewing system for the wedding.

Not apropos of this heat wave, Schaner can't wait to get back on his skis, both on Bachelor and a couple states over in Jackson, Wyoming. He also happens to be in the local dodgeball league, which, considering The Pavilion is open-walled, is sort of outdoors.

After a couple pints at Brother Jon's, we ambled all the way around the corner to Kobold Brewing's new Lair taproom, which I wrote about for the Source last week, on Bond Street. As if to transport him back to his days living in Munich, Schaner ordered the Heffen 'n' Peffen Hefeweizen. I enjoyed the Lair-exclusive Dry Hopped Lager. It just so happened that one of his dodgeball teammates was celebrating his birthday at the taproom. See? He's ingrained himself in Bend society already.

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