ST. PAUL, MN—Noting that he’s frequently beset by self-doubt and not terribly experienced in brewing beer, Bryan Walters, 29, insists he’s just not going to open a brewery like everyone else is doing right now.
“Listen,” he says stroking his beard, “I know I check all the boxes: I’m a guy, I’m a millennial, I like craft beer, and my girlfriend — well, my ex-girlfriend — she gave me a home-brewing kit like two years ago. But that doesn’t mean I have to open my own brewery, right?”
With warm afternoon light pouring through a local brewery’s windows, Bryan With a Y works his way through a few small-batch IPAs and continues. “I mean, have you seen the new places opening up? Fancy light fixtures, exposed brick, hand-painted murals and reclaimed wood… This stuff is expensive, and I know next to nothing about raising money or running a business.”
Additionally, Walters, who currently works for the Ramsey County Human Resources Department, admits his home brew doesn’t even taste that good. “I’ve brewed like six batches altogether, and one, maybe two, were drinkable. To be honest, they all smell like gym socks. I don’t know. Maybe it’s the water or something.”
Rather than pursue a career change or become an entrepre-brewer, Walters says he’ll probably stick with the county job for a while. He says the benefits are decent, and Fridays at 3, his boss lets everyone take a beer from the office fridge.
“I love craft beer, OK?” Walters says. “But mine just isn’t as good as the other stuff out there.”
At press time, Bryan With a Y had plans to stop by his local bottle shop for a 12-pack of Summit Sága IPA before heading home to eat tacos. “I threw some chicken and salsa in the slow cooker. Pretty solid tacos, man. Maybe I’ll start my own taco truck!”