Ben Howe of Otherlands Beer


Manage episode 267747405 series 2642146
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With his signature long hair, faded trucker hat, and baby face, Ben Howe could easily pass for a newbie assistant brewer, which is what he once was. You could also be forgiven for carding him before serving him a drink. Despite his youthful appearance, Ben has a long history of brewing experience under his belt. He has brewed with some of the world’s best, cutting his teeth under Will Meyers at Cambridge Brewing Company before opening his own short lived place, Enlightenment Ales. His brewing travels have taken him from Boston to the rural coast of Denmark and then to the West Coast and Wayfinder Beer in Portland, Oregon.

For Ben, everything had been building to this moment. The one where he leveraged his years of hard work, training, and study to help open a place of his own. He and his wife and business partner Karolina were ready. And then COVID-19 hit. A pandemic definitely wasn’t in the business plan.

Earlier this year, Ben and Karolina planned to open their new brewery and taproom, Otherlands Beer, in the town of Bellingham, Washington. COVID substantially delayed everything, from permitting to construction and sourcing necessary items as seemingly easy as hand soap. So Ben and Karolina built the taproom’s bar themselves. They brought in family to help paint and finish other odds and ends. They stressed over everything, from the small to the substantial. After COVID delayed their target opening date of early Spring, Otherlands finally opened to the public in late June.

Ben is supremely dedicated to the science of making better beer. He’s constantly seeking to improve himself and his craft. We spoke with Ben a few weeks back, before Otherlands opened, and you can hear the anxiety and concern of the unknown in his voice. If you’ve ever wondered who would dare open a new brewery in the midst of all this chaos, let us introduce you to Ben Howe of Otherlands Beer.

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