Papa Steve is what I consider to be my flagship beer. This beer is more special to me than any other beer I make, not only because it is my best beer (in my opinion) but because the story of why it is…Papa Steve!
Some time ago, my father was diagnosed with cancer. Over the course of the next couple of years, he would be in and out of the hospital dealing with treatments. Back during that time, I was fortunate to have enough “free time” to travel from the UK to Texas to be with him as he went through his treatments. So it turned out that I would be in Texas more often than here in the UK for two years.
As with all cancer treatments, he had his good days and his bad days but I felt that it was important for me to be there for him as much as possible. It was a difficult time for him, but it was a difficult time for me as well. Stress levels were high and emotionally I was drained. On the plus side, a new brewery had just opened a few miles away from my father’s house and in order to keep my mind off of the negative side of things, I went in to “work” as often as possible. Turns out I would get two years of training on a 30bbl plant from one of the finest brewers I have ever met, Rob Landerman.
To make a long story short, my father eventually succumbed to cancer.
So what does any of this have to do with Papa Steve you might ask…
Well, a couple of weeks before my father died, he and I were talking about my upcoming venture of opening a brewery in the UK. He was keen to understand what I was planning on doing and hearing about the various beers I was going to produce. As I explained it all to him, he looked up at me and asked me if I would do him a favor….and of course I said yes. He asked me to name a beer after him…and when I asked him what it should be called, he took a few moments to think and then came up with “Papa Steve”.. after I agreed to this….he looked up at me and smiled, and said it was amazing because he would reach “immortality through beer”.
Thus was the birth of the idea of Papa Steve. It would have to be a big, bold, and amazing beer. One that would be remembered…