Editorial Dept.'s picture

Brewer Q&A: Declaration With Reformation Brewery Brewmaster & Co-Founder Nick Downs

95 Rating - Exceptional
Paul Hamill, Lead Brewer of Reformation Brewery
Paul Hamill, Lead Brewer of Reformation Brewery
BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
Paul Hamill, Lead Brewer and I did.
BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
Our favorite thing about this beer is the way it evolves over time. We love the complex notes of chocolate and smooth dark fruit that emerge from a glass that's savored and sipped slowly. Our barrel-aged variants especially mature beautifully, making this beer a gift that keeps on giving. 
BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?

We're inspired by the church history from which our brewery takes its name, and the declaration of Martin Luther (his 95 Theses to be exact) are a touch point we return to for naming conventions. Whether you’re protesting, agreeing, pledging, stating, notifying, announcing, advising or disclosing; declare it passionately. Declaration is an imperial stout you can lean into with the freedom to state your conviction. “Here I stand; I can do no other.” 

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
If you ask, Paul - he'd say yes. He's a devoted fan to his Declaration. And if that desert island has a North Pole mirage, you can find the rest of us setting up in front of the fire with a case nearby. 
BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Pairs well with moderation; complex, rich & roasty, intriguing, surprising. 
BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
This beer has been with us from the early days when we were brewing on a three barrel system. We had a free day in our brewing schedule and an empty barrel, and so we put the two together as fortuitously as the universe intended. We originally intended to put coffee in it but it turned out so good with a decent bit of roastiness to it that we left it as is. The recipe called for so much grain it actually dented the false bottom of the mash tun and we had to have it repaired. But our distributor loved the results, and said if we could brew it, they could sell it. We declared that a win, and haven't turned back. 
BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Vanilla or coffee ice cream, dark chocolate, and creme brulee.