Behind the Bush: Mike Robinson

‘Milk’ Robinson started at Greenbush back in the spring. He’s quickly become an essential member of the team, making sure that production and distribution run smoothly and efficiently. But there’s more to the man than his role at Greenbush. He has a fine collection of airbrushed t-shirts ranging from Sea World to Taylor Swift. He legitimately enjoys the taste of Malört. I don’t want to spoil anything though. It’s just that sometimes there’s a man, and sometimes there’s a man. And sometimes, there’s Milk…

What’s your relationship to Greenbush?
I am a Cellarman. I carry out duties involving keg prep and anything else that has to do with the distribution of our beer. I work with the carbonating and kegging of each and every kind of beer, so it’s my job to really know the beer I’m kegging and know that what I’m putting it into is clean and safe. I’m a glorified janitor, but then we all are. Cleanliness is next to beerliness.

How’d you get involved with the brewery?
I had been unemployed for two years and down on my luck. The only thing I really had to keep me going was my band. I had been bugging my long-time friend Joe “Carlos” Hinman about an internship off and on for about a year before I got this job. One day Joe called me asked me to come in and help out with a brew cycle. This was the beginning of my internship. I was officially hired in a week or two later and then WOW it’s been like 7 months.

What time is happy hour for you?
I can’t say that I really have a set “happy hour.” I do enjoy being up past my bedtime.

You’re on a deserted island and can only have one case of mass-produced domestic beer dropped to you—what do you pick?
Tecate, of course. Unless Tecate is considered an “import,” in which case I would sub it for Corona Light. Those who know me know that I am a fan of extremes and I think Corona Light may be the worst of the domestics.

Redeem yourself—what’s your favorite non-Greenbush beverage to drink?
I like to stick to classic cocktails. Old fashioneds, gin and tonics. As far as beer goes I love IPAs; Zombie Dust (3 Floyds) and I am a HUGE fan of Double Crooked Tree (Dark Horse).

What’s been your most memorable Greenbush experience thus far?
My fondest Greenbush memory took place one of the first days that I was training. We were brewing P.H.D. and I got to see about forty or so bags of Frosted Flakes get dropped in the mash tun while we drank ghetto mimosas (brass monkeys) at like 10 a.m. I also first met my now friend, co-worker and roommate Pete Hasbrouck. It was a lot of fun.

What do your friends think about all this madness?
My friends were spending time here even before I started working here. They absolutely love Greenbush. My friend and bandmate Mike Hosinski actually came in for over a hundred days straight. I’ve actually seen a few of my friends go from straight up domestic beer drinkers to dedicated craft beer drinkers after coming in just a few times.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My sister and I wanted very badly to be musicians. I remember us getting toy guitars and keyboards when I was young. My sister moved on to theatre when she got older and I found a place in my current band The Vollies. There was actually a point in high school where our head brewer Joe and I were in a band.

If you were a Greenbush beer, which would you be and why?
This is a hard one because I’m not liquid. I think I would be Anger. Dark, bitter and unusual. Yeah, sounds about right.

What’s your favorite food?
My girlfriend’s vegetable lasagna. Hands down. It is absolutely awesome. I don’t know how she does it. She’s amazing.

Where do you think you and Greenbush will be in 5 years?
I hope that we’ll be distributing in states further south, east and west so that I can work the festivals. I love traveling and working fests. Gives us a chance to spread our love for craft beer.

If you only had one item you could take with you to work, what would it be and why?
My keys. This is a boring answer I know, but they are literally all I need to have with me when I come to work. I can’t do anything without them.

What’s the most exotic place you’ve ever visited?
Gary, Indiana.

Chicago or Michigan sports teams (or Indiana if you’re crazy)?
I’m not crazy about any sports really, but I like to make fun of Indiana the most I guess.

Did you have a favorite brewery before Greenbush opened? If so, what and why?
I didn’t really. To be honest I didn’t know many outside of Bell’s and Founders because they were the only ones I’d ever visited. Working at Greenbush and going to events has really helped me to explore a lot of the local breweries and research the ones I haven’t heard of.

What’s on your nightstand?
I don’t own a nightstand, but on my dresser there is a cigar box full of money, my Nook, a hard drive and a mason jar full of bottle caps for one of our bartenders who collects them.

How many beers do you drink in a typical day?
Two at the most. I’m not a heavy drinker. I’m actually quite the lightweight.

Rhapsody Hero (where you try to pick the WORST song for everyone to enjoy)—what’s your pick?
Foreigner – Headknocker

BONUS QUESTIONS:
What’s your favorite documentary?
Shut Up, Little Man! by Matthew Bate. It’s a documentary about some audio verité recordings of two arguing alcoholic neighbors over the course of some years and how those recordings spread throughout underground culture through tape trading.

How much time do you spend on your hair every day?
Normally none. I flat iron it every three days to get that “yes, I cut my own hair” look.

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2 thoughts on “Behind the Bush: Mike Robinson

  1. Pingback: Brew News: December Edition | A Beer in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

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