Behind the Bush: Jake Demski

16253285584_fd97b394f6_oBrewer, Musician/Song Writer, Comedian… Jake Demski spends each day at GB brewing up fantastic beer for everyone to enjoy, while simultaneously dropping smiles onto peoples faces like it’s his job. He generally starts his workday at 6 a.m., steaming up the place as he mashes in a boat load of grain for whatever beer is on the agenda. When he’s not running the 15bbl system, you can find him dreaming up crazy, awesome, experimental small batch beers. Strawberry jam, lavender, chocolate coins, oak chips, cranberry, sarsaparilla, grapes, ring pops, warheads… yeah, he goes there, and beyond. Outside of the brewery you can occasionally find Jake jamming with his friends–he’s a pretty killer guitar player and singer. Check out open mic night at Hidden Pointe in Benton Harbor on Thursday nights and, if you’re lucky, your ears might grasp a taste of his musical stylings. Read on to find out more behind the man in the strawberry sweatshirt…

What do you do at Greenbush?
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world—…. Oh, I’m the first shift brewer.

How’d you get involved with the brewery?
While I was at Grand Valley I helped a young Joe Hinman (pre-Carlos) record a mutual friend’s band for his audio class. Shortly after moving back home from Grand Rapids I heard word of a new brewery in Sawyer. Me, being myself, and loving craft beer, I wasted no time at all and stopped in for a visit. Upon arriving, what do I see? The same bespectacled young man (slightly older) tending bar at this new brewery. I quickly fell in love with the beer and bugged Joe for a year and a half to get me a job here. Then, one fateful afternoon, Carlos called me at my previous employer and asked if I’d like to come in and talk about a job as a cellarman. The rest is history. The moral of the story? Be nice to Carlos.

What time is happy hour for you?
1:37-2:37 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and every other Tuesday.

You’re on a deserted island and can only have one case of mass-produced domestic beer dropped to you—what do you pick?
I’m assuming freshwater resources are limited on this island? If that is the case then Bud Light. SURVIVAL TIP #34. Take that Bear Grylls!

What are your favorite non-Greenbush beverages to drink?
Coffee, water, bourbon, juice, and other Michigan craft beers in no particular order.

What’s been your most memorable Greenbush experience thus far?
Too many to count. Between the three-man slingshot, fireworks and general tomfoolery I can’t decide.

What do your friends think about all this madness?
Most of them work here so they’re pretty used to it. And the other ones think it’s pretty cool I guess or they might not care. I don’t know. Doesn’t matter. I love it.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A brewer. Dream realized. High five!

If you were a Greenbush beer, which would you be and why?
Apathy, because I really don’t care to answer this question. Just kidding, but I do like that beer.

What’s your favorite food?
Give me a good deli sandwich any day. Big sandwich fan. Not really picky about the contents either.

Where do you think you and Greenbush will be in 5 years?
On a nice island resort somewhere celebrating our 8 1/2-year anniversary together.

If you only had one item you could take with you to work, what would it be and why?
My Leatherman Multi-Tool. I need it to pry up the false bottom and open grain bags.

What’s the most exotic place you’ve ever visited?
Mexico, I guess. But it was on a cruise with my parents when I was younger. Kind of touristy. I don’t get out much.

Chicago or Michigan sports teams (or Indiana if you’re crazy)?
If I had to choose I’d say Chicago. I do enjoy a good game at Wrigley.

Did you have a favorite brewery before Greenbush opened? If so, what and why?
Founders. It was my hometown brewery for a while. This was before a lot of other breweries like Vivant were open.

What’s on your nightstand?
Nothing. Don’t have one. I do have a stack of books that I put my phone on while it charges at night. Sooo… at least I’ve got that going for me.

How many beers do you drink in a typical day?
I drink the beers that I drink. Let’s just leave it at that.

Rhapsody Hero (where you try to pick the WORST song for everyone to enjoy)—what’s your pick? Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5. I honestly hate that song but every time I hear it I find myself tapping my toe to the beat, immersed in a cloud of shame.

You do a lot of small batchin’—what  would be your “balls-to-the-wall small batch of a lifetime” (no limits)?
I really do feel that there are no limits if you are creative enough. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.

If you could go on a magic carpet ride with any celebrity (dead or alive), who would you want sittin’ shotty & where would your destination of choice be? If there’s an explanation as to why, do tell!
Being on a magic carpet would be terrifying in itself and you want to throw a dead stranger into the mix? NO THANK YOU.

Any rhyme or reason behind all the crazy/awesome/funny/random beer names you come up with?
Free association. You say “Rocky Balboa” and my brain says “Rocky Balboa Constrictor.” It’s a blessing and a curse but we all have our cross to bear.


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