Distilling Alumni Spirits

by Kristen Manieri | photos by Scott Cook

Terrapin beer at The Alfond Inn

Cheers to Beer!

Cliff Mori ’02

Owner, BREW-ed

Cliff Mori ’02 has become a pre-eminent beer educator in Asheville, North Carolina. From pouring beers in a local pub to becoming the area’s first certified cicerone, Mori, an anthropology major, established the beer education program at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. There he creates the curriculum and teaches classes on everything from brewing regions and styles to the economics of brewing.

“I love beer but I’m also an Asheville buff, so I wanted to combine my interests in beer and local lore to create behind-the-scenes brewery tours that offered more than just a typical pub-crawl. It’s an education,” Mori says. Thus, his company BREW-ed was born, and Mori now offers weekend beer tours as well as beer education and staff training.


Big Moments in Beer History

Mori curates some of beer’s most important milestones:

7000 B.C. Earliest evidence of a beer-like fermented beverage discovered in Henan Province, China.

580 A.D. St. Arnold of Metz is born. He later persuades people to drink beer and not water to avoid plague.

1516 Germany’s Beer Purity Law becomes one of the world’s first consumer protection laws. It restricts beer ingredients to barley, hops, and water. Yeast and wheat are later included.

1620 The Mayflower lands at Plymouth, Massachusetts, because of a shortage of beer.

1814 A brewery accident in London sends a tidal wave of beer through the city’s streets, destroying homes and killing seven people.

1860 Soap-maker Eberhard Anheuser becomes a partner in the Bavarian Brewery in St. Louis. The brewery would later change its name to include his son-in-law, Adolphus Busch.

1880 2,400 breweries operate in the U.S.

1920-1933 Prohibition in the U.S. bans the manufacture, transport, and sale of alcohol, including beer.

1975 The homogenous American beer market gets lighter with the introduction of Miller Lite.

1976 Jack McAuliffe starts New Albion, recognized as America’s first “craft” brewery.

1980 Only 79 breweries operate in the U.S.

2012 Number of breweries operating in the U.S. reaches 2,400, the same amount as in 1880.

2014 Number of breweries operating in the U.S. tops 3,000.

Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer. Dave Barry

10 Things to Know about Hops

1. Hops have been a regular beer-making ingredient for about 1,000 years.

2. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer.

3. 80 percent of domestic hops are grown in the Pacific Northwest.

4. Hallertau in Germany is the world’s largest hop-growing region.

5. Hops are in the same family of flowering plants as cannabis.

6. Hops are a perennial and can take up to three years to mature.

7. Hops are a climbing plant trained to grow up trellises made from strings or wires.

8. After being dried, hops are typically added to the wort and boiled before yeast is added to start fermentation.

9. Hops have been used as a treatment for anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia.

10. Some lactation experts think hops can increase a woman’s breast milk supply.

Beer notes checklist

James Bruner ’09

Brewer, Terrapin Beer Co.

It’s been six years since James Bruner ’09 first poured pints at Fiddler’s Green, the pub near Rollins College.

But a love of beer has followed him along his career path ever since. In January, he became a brewer at Terrapin Beer Co., and it was his biology degree that helped him stand out in the interview.

“They wanted someone with a science background, and I had that plus a few years of experience working at a small brewery in Tallahassee,” says Bruner, who oversees 28 different fermentation tanks at the Athens, Georgia, brewery. Last year, Terrapin produced 36,000 brewer’s barrels, translating into about two dozen beer varieties that are shipped to 13 states, mostly in the Southeast.

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