Behind the Bush: Tyler Ream

a handful of pizza dough & a glimpse at those curly locks

a handful of pizza dough & a glimpse at those curly locks

Spaghetti. When I think of Tyler one of the first things that comes to mind is just that, spaghetti. He loves it & would eat it all the time if he could. Oh, and he’s got mad flow. And I’m not talking about free styling. What I am talking about are those curly bouncy locks that on a good day could be in a Pantene Pro V commercial (went there). Buuuuuut, this blog isn’t about spaghetti or good hair, but more importantly, the great Tyler Ream. He’s had his hand in a lot here & we’ve been very fortunate to have him on board in all the different arenas of Greenbush he’s dabbled in. He’s a stand-up guy, a good time & can be quite the smart ass (in the best way possible!). Read on to see for yourself…

What do you do at Greenbush?
I’m currently the Distribution Coordinator at Greenbush Brewing Co. I track how much beer we’re going through day to day in the taproom and how much beer each of our distributors is going through in the market. From there I figure out when and how much of each beer we need to produce and how it should be packaged to keep up with the ever growing demand that we can never meet. You can also find me at all sorts of Greenbush tasting and festival events and on the @greenbushcellar Instagram account.

How’d you get involved with the brewery?
I was sitting at the brewery in April of 2013 with my buddy Cody who was working as a server at GB and he encouraged me to apply. I asked our server for an application and she replied with “Sure I’ll grab you one, but you probably won’t get a job here.” Everyone was a bit clandestine at that point, you really had to know somebody and have an ‘in’. I applied anyways. One to two weeks later the general manager called me in for an interview and recognized me from one of her charity events with the Layla foundation. I started serving tables shortly after. Before I knew it I was working in the cellar helping produce and package beer and everything just sort of spiraled off from there.

What time is happy hour for you?
Around 7 p.m. most nights when I’m sitting on my couch at home with my Doberman, Jabba, and my girlfriend with a couple of exotic craft beers.

You’re on a deserted island and can only have one case of mass-produced domestic beer dropped to you—what do you pick?
A Greenbush rep., a Budweiser rep. and a Miller Lite rep. all sit down for lunch. The server comes over and asks everyone what they’d like to drink. Budweiser rep. says “I’ll take a Budweiser, bottle”, Miller Lite rep. says “I’ll take a Miller Lite draft” and the Greenbush rep. says “Well… If nobody’s gonna have a beer… I’ll take a glass of water.”

What’s your favorite non-Greenbush beverage to drink?
Orangina. By a landslide. I first tried carbonated orange juice when I was visiting Europe maybe ten years ago, and I’ve never been the same since.

What’s been your most memorable Greenbush experience thus far?
While the Michigan beer festivals I’ve attended with the GB crew have all been incredibly fun and memorable… I’d have to say my most memorable experience is when myself, the other cellarmen, brewers and a few others helped create the GB Annex. We deconstructed old barns and chicken coops on Sawyer Road and salvaged the wood to build a bar, a counter top, and some shelving. We spent countless hours lacquering said wood, painting the walls and floor of the Annex, putting up mirrors, paper towel dispensers, lighting and more. We learned to use different saws and build fencing, make cutting boards for charcuterie out of cherry wood and use a router to round out edges. We created an outdoor ‘employee area’ by digging and hauling a bunch of dirt and rock and replacing it with mulch. Then one of our brewers (now yeast/quality control expert) and one of our cellarmen (now warehouse manager) built a giant picnic table in the employee space for everyone to enjoy after long work days in the summer. The whole experience was pretty wild. I felt like we all built something really cool and significant together.

What do your friends think about all this madness?
Just that, madness. It’s mind blowing to most of them that working with beer every day is considered to be a real job. Yet, with the continued incredible growth of the craft beer industry this sort of lifestyle is becoming the norm more and more.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals, and still do. One time when I was much younger I was at the beach with a few friends and we saw a seagull flopping around on the ground choking on a banana. I grabbed a stick and pried the banana out of its throat… It flopped around a little longer and then stood up and flew off over the lake. I later learned I’d have to do things like cut animals open and put them to sleep for that kind of profession and quickly changed my mind.

If you were a Greenbush beer, which would you be and why?
Remnant of Dragon, because I’m delicious?

What’s your favorite food?
Mashed potatoes. And banana pudding. And mashed potatoes. Also, buffalo wings, lots and lots of buffalo wings. And mashed potatoes.

Where do you think you and Greenbush will be in 5 years?
The booming metropolis of Sawyer, MI.

If you only had one item you could take with you to work, what would it be and why?
My Leatherman Skeletool. I have it with me every day and use it for all sorts of things that it wasn’t even made for. Anytime I get on an airplane and have to leave it at home I feel lost, constantly checking my pocket and wondering why it isn’t there.

What’s the most exotic place you’ve ever visited?
Greenbush Brewing Co. during the week of the 4th of July… It’s a circus…

Chicago or Michigan sports teams (or Indiana if you’re crazy)?
I’m actually not really a sports fan? But Cubs and Bears all the way. The White Sox stadium has dippin’ dots and I like those a lot… but I’m still a Cubs fan… I guess if somebody started serving something like mashed potatoes mixed with buffalo wings, corn, and pineapple at a stadium I’d have to switch teams.

Did you have a favorite brewery before Greenbush opened? If so, what and why?
I think Sierra Nevada was the first craft beer I got into. I was also a big fan of Three Floyd’s for a time. I don’t know that I necessarily had a favorite, but the hoppiness of craft beer definitely sucked me in.

What’s on your nightstand?
A lamp that’s usually unplugged, random ticket stubs from live shows, a book about the Grateful Dead, and candy wrappers.

How many beers do you drink in a typical day?
Typically one to two beers. I tend to have a lot going on day to day and although I’d love to sip craft brew all day long, I’d be far too tired each time I left work to get anything done at home.

Rhapsody Hero (where you try to pick the WORST song for everyone to enjoy)—what’s your pick?
Huh? Why… Why would I do that?

BONUS Q’s–
What’s the coolest/your favorite beer bar you’ve been to? Why?
“Jerry’s Icehouse” at McMenamins Historic Edgefield Manor in Troutdale, Oregon. It’s a tiny little Grateful Dead themed sort of dive bar the size of a hobbit’s home that resides on an estate with all these other little buildings that used to make up a ‘poor house’ or ‘homeless manor’.  They serve craft beer, wine, and spirits. Play Grateful Dead tunes all day long and have scores of books and posters on the band. I’ve only spent about 15 minutes there, but plan to go back and spend prolonged periods of time peering through books, cold beverage in hand.

I hear you’re into weird food combinations– care to share a few of your favorite concoctions? Any method to the madness behind them?
I suppose it is more madness than method… See, you’re having dinner… and there’s a bunch of different things on the table that you like to eat… But it’s difficult to know where to start, or maybe some of what’s there isn’t all that great… So you mix it together, stuff you like a lot, with stuff you only kind of like, or still like a lot, and sometimes it’s really really good. Other times it’s terrible and you’ve just ruined a good meal. I think I’m getting better at it though? Go to Piece Brewery in Chicago, order a pizza with mashed potatoes on it, Italian sausage, pineapples, garlic, peppers, and white sauce… You’ll understand then…

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