For Bob Trewartha, beer is more than a beverage—it's a mission. A literal professor of 20 years, teaching communications, business and ethics at Broadview University, Trewartha has taken the moniker of The Beer Professor to, as he puts it, "promote craft-beer education and (responsible) good time." His homebrews have won numerous awards, and this year, those in the VIP section of City Weekly's Utah Beer Festival will enjoy his efforts as emcee.
What education qualifies you to be The Beer Professor, and how might one obtain such a degree?
The Beer Professor moniker has been earned through both experiential research and practical application of beer education. In addition, as I am an avid homebrewer and beer blogger, which keeps me at the pulse of the craft-beer scene. I am also in the beginning stages of obtaining my Cicerone certification.
What inspired you to spread the good word about beer?
My biggest influence was Zane Lamprey who had a TV show called Three Sheets that was all about the education of beer, wine and spirits from all different parts of the world. His format of presenting was educational but mostly fun and inspired me to want to spread the education and love of drinking beer. In addition, when I first started drinking beer, there was such a lack of craft beer that it motivated me to seek out good beer throughout the United States so I could refine my palate.
Why be a beer scholar in the heart of Zion?
I love this question. Utah has some of the best breweries, some of the best home brewers and craft-beer lovers in the country. If you tell people they can't do something, they find a way to do it, and do it well. However, many folks still have not been exposed to "good" beer and the joy it will bring—which creates the need for someone, like The Beer Professor, to spread the good word.
What are you looking forward to at this year's Utah Beer Festival?
We have eight breweries bringing some special brews that our experts at the Salt Bistro are going to pair with some culinary delights. The VIP patrons will have the chance to try these amazing libations and learn some of the secrets from the brewers themselves.
What types of brews do you naturally gravitate toward?
There are very few beer styles I have tried that I don't find some quaffability but, having said that, I generally like IPAs, imperial stouts and barley wines. Big beers. Lots of flavor.
What changes would you make to Utah liquor laws to help the local beer scene flourish?
Tap beer at higher than 4 percent would be a boon for Utah beer drinkers. The legalization of happy hours and flights would allow for patrons to sample beers to find what they really enjoy. The Zion curtain is simply an embarrassment—not really a beer-specific issue, but that law ought to change.