Because of the coronavirus outbreak, I am unable to visit breweries. Subsequently, we are repeating Craft Beer on The Bay blogs and podcasts from the last six years. This is Craft Beer on The Bay featuring Devil’s Backbone Brewing from June 24, 2016.
Last Thursday I attended a Devils Backbone Brewing beer tasting event at Woodberry Kitchen, in the Woodberry neighborhood of Baltimore. Devils Backbone has just released the latest beer in their Peak Series, 16 Point Imperial IPA, and last Thursday was my first chance to have this beer. I wish I would have had it sooner. It’s brewed with Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe hops and is incredible! If you see it on the menu or chalkboard at your favorite establishment, be sure to have one because it’s a limited release and is only available on draft. You will love it!
Devils Backbone started as a small brewpub in Roseland, Virginia in 2008 and has gone on to win Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup medals because of the quality of their craft beer. The Brewmaster today is the same one who helped establish the brewery: Jason Oliver. I had the chance to talk with Jason this week and hear about his path to becoming a world-class brewer.
Jason grew up in Howard County and attended Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia. As he moved through his college years, he started to develop an interest in beer. After a just-after-graduation job in Alaska, Jason came back to Maryland and while looking at a book on careers, he came across “Brewmaster” and knew immediately that this is what he wanted to do.
So Jason started home brewing. Then he started looking for a job in the brewing industry and landed an assistant position at Oliver Breweries in Baltimore. After a year and a half, he got his Master Brewer’s Program diploma from UC-Davis and returned to Maryland to take on a series of brewing jobs, most notably, six years brewing for Gordon-Biersch restaurants. Then it was the job that really changed it all: the first brewer at what was to become Devils Backbone Brewing.
As the popularity of Devils Backbone beers grew, it became clear the brewery needed more space and opened a 120 barrel brewery in Lexington, Virginia in 2012. The brewery specializes in German beer styles, but as you now know, they also make some excellent ales.
So if you get the chance, drink a 16 Point Imperial IPA from Devils Backbone, a limited release, crafted by Brewmaster Jason Oliver!
The Craft Beer Guy