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Yeti Ambassador: Tim Adams

If you follow the long dirt road through the Maine Woods, you’ll stumble upon Oxbow Brewing Company and find owner Tim Adams and his team crafting over 50 different beers. Adams has traveled the globe in pursuit of new flavors and innovative techniques to elevate his craft. He knows process is key, so he leans on whole ingredients — sometimes straight from the Oxbow farm — and doesn’t shy away from taking months, even years, to produce a world-class beer. All in all, Adams is a dedicated guy who carries his unique techniques through all his passions — brewing, fly fishing, skiing. We admire his zest for life that comes through in every brew, every catch, and every day at Oxbow. Get a deeper dive into the mind of this badass brewmaster below.

Q:
What goes through your head when you first wake up in the morning before you brew?

A:

What needs to be done today? No two days are the same for any small business, especially a brewery. As the owner, it is my responsibility to field the challenges that come our way and either take care of them myself or delegate to one of my awesome co-workers.

Q:

Where is your favorite place to brew beer?

A:

There is certainly no place I enjoy brewing more than in the tranquility of our farmhouse brewery, tucked away in the Maine Woods.

Q:

Tell us a favorite story from a day of brewing?

A:

One of the most memorable days of my brewing career thus far was when I brewed a collaboration beer at the Shiga Kogen Brewery in the mountains of Nagano, Japan. I lived in Tokyo during my high school years and have a deep affinity for Japan and its people, culture, and language. I had not been able to visit that country for over 13 years, and then finally, thanks to beer, I was able to return. Oxbow had garnered some attention in the Japanese beer market and we were offered an import arrangement and an invitation to brew with this wonderful brewery. They were interested in learning some of our techniques for creating traditional sour ales, but I ended up learning just as much from them. And in the true spirit of collaboration, we all left the session with lots of new ideas and excitement, as well a deep connection and friendship that endures to this day.

Q:

How do you up your game year after year?

A:

I up my game year after year by traveling and seeking out the very best beers in the world. Some of those beers have been brewed for 500 years and haven’t changed a bit, and others are brand new and revolutionary in their creativity. My palate is by far the most important tool I have, and I am on a lifelong quest to find new flavors that will broaden my taste horizons and inform and inspire my creative process for designing new beers.

Q:

If you could do anything better, what would it be?

A:

I will always aspire to be a better leader and partner. My passions are those that have limitless potential for education and improvement, especially my primary obsessions of fly fishing and fly tying. That being said, I’ve never played a musical instrument in my life and at the age of 37 I have decided to dive in headfirst and start playing the drums. So right now I’m really trying to get the basics down so I can hop on my kit and bang out some beats!

Q:

Who are your heroes? Who do you look up to?

A:

I have so much admiration and respect for Yvon Chouinard and what he has done with Patagonia. Not only has he created an epic brand that produces some of the best gear in the world, he has also set a standard for company culture and environmental stewardship. Reading his book, Let My People Go Surfing, was a pivotal experience for me and had a profound impact on how I approach my own company and co-workers. Furthermore, he seems to maintain an impressive work/life balance with plenty of time spent pursuing outdoor adventures — something I value and strive for myself.

Q:

What haven’t you accomplished that you aspire to do in your lifetime?

A:

Professionally, I’m on a lifelong quest to improve Oxbow, educate consumers, and create community. Personally, there are several fish species that I would love to target with my fly rod, including Giant Trevally and Golden Dorado.

Q:

What part of you, or what you do, reflects a spirit of restlessness?

A:

I think the fact that we make 50 different beers and pour these beers in a dozen different countries in the course of a year reflects an overall spirit of restlessness on my behalf that has trickled down into my business. When I’m not working, I am constantly searching for the next new fishing hole along the rugged Maine coast or a new mountain bike or backcountry ski trail in our hilly, wooded interior.

Q:

What sound or noise do you love?

A:

My favorite noise is the sound of a quiet brewery when no equipment is running and all you can hear are the tanks bubbling. This sound is the auditory cue that fermentation is underway and yeast is transforming barley into beer — an ancient and natural process that still strikes me as pure magic.

Read the full article here