Many Charlotteans enjoy sipping on locally brewed pints after yoga classes, run clubs, and socializing with friends, but do you know the people who actually craft the frothy refreshment people love so dearly? In this series on Charlotte’s brewers, you’ll get to know the people and the passion behind the brew.
Winning a medal at the Great American Beer Festival, the biggest public beer festival in the United States, is no easy feat. In 2015, 6,647 beers entered in 92 categories and more than 60,000 beer enthusiasts attended.
So it was a big deal that Charlotte’s Triple C Brewing Company won a bronze in the American-Style Strong Pale Ale category with their 3C IPA.
“(Winning bronze) was really exciting,” head brewer Scott Kimball said. “There were 127 beers entered in our category and we took home the bronze medal. It feels great and we’ve definitely seen a boost in consumer interest for our 3C IPA and for our beers in general.”
The 3C IPA isn’t the only beer receiving accolades. Charlotte Magazine recognized Triple C for its barrel aging program, including the much loved Up All Night breakfast porter. Its barrel aged beer program was also recently featured in an episode of the Cheers Charlotte podcast.
Much of the brewery’s success can be attributed to head brewer Scott Kimball and his passion for quality craft beer. Meet him.
The Kimball file:
From: Jacksonville, Md., just outside of Baltimore.
School: Undergraduate studies at York College, where he says his love of craft beer really began.
When he started homebrewing: 2006.
Why he started brewing: He was inspired after hiking the Appalachian Trail after graduation. “Craft beer is a big part of the hiking and outdoor culture. That’s when I really started to have an interest in brewing my own beer,” says Kimball.
“I made some pretty bad beer at first,” Kimball continued. “I had one of those Mr. Beer kits and, after making two batches, I thought, ‘I can do better than this.’ Once I upgraded my system, I started making good beers.”
His first brewery job: Kimball was hired in 2009 Brewer for Fordham and Dominion Brewing Company in Dover, Del.
“A good friend of mine was working there and I was able to walk in and, within a few months, I was brewing a 50 barrel brewhouse by myself,” says Kimball, “It was like winning the lottery.”
When Triple C opened: 2012.
What drives him: It’s the excitement of always having room to improve that motivates Kimball to consistently produce premium craft beer varieties. “Brewing beer is something I truly feel I can’t conquer,” he said. “There’s always something to learn and it’s always a challenge.”
Most challenging part of the job: Juggling. “We try to keep 12 different beers on tap at all times, I have to manage tank space, yeast management, deciding what to brew, and when it’s ready to keg or can,” Kimball said. “It’s also hard to keep up with demand, but that’s a great problem to have.”
What’s next: Fans can expect to see more barrel aged beers on the horizon: The Dude Imbibes (imperial milk stout aged in rum barrels) and Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stout.
“We’re increasing our barrel aged beers and we’re also focusing on canning more of our beers,” he said. “The focus is always on improvement.”
Final thought: “There’s nothing I’ve experienced that I love as much as brewing,” said Kimball. “I would work all day in the brewery, come home and brew beer, then I’d read about brewing.”
Photos: Taylor Slaughter