As many of you may know I’m a huge Barrelhouse Brewing fan. You may or may not know Mathew Jacobs. I’ve known of him for quite some time through his parents, Jac and Trish, and have since gotten to know him a little better through conversations at Barrelhouse when we stop in.
I think he’s a big up-and-comer in the beer and wine scene locally. Although we never really know where we’ll be 5 or 10 years from now I think he will certainly be impactful to the Paso Robles area and in my estimation, he already has. He’s knows his stuff that’s for sure and he’s actually a nice guy. He always takes the time to chat and apparently rarely leaves home without a smile.
So check out the Q&A below and maybe we’ll see you at Barrelhouse!
Matt: How old are you?
Matt: Where were you born? If not in Paso, how did you end up in Paso?
Mathew: I was born in Sonoma but moved to Paso with my family right before high school. I moved away after high school to pursue school and career only to return three years ago to focus in wine.
Matt: I know your parents and my guess is that they are not only a big part of your life but they probably have something to do with your love of wine and beer, right?
Mathew: Oh yes, they are very much the reason I am the way I am! I was that kid arguing the finer points about acid balance in vinaigrettes with my mom at 10.
Matt: Did you get started in the wine or beer business first?
Matt: How did you originally get into the wine side?
Mathew: I had grown tired of what I was doing and decided to come home and give wine a shot. I am very lucky to be legacy in this business, I was handed my first job. I am very very grateful for that opportunity and tried very hard to make the best of it!
Matt: How did you get started in the beer thing?
Matthew: Well I had been home brewing with my dad for years and had taken a fanatical interest in it. When I heard about this new brewery opening in Paso I went to check it out. I was able to lend a hand with my winery skills and I was full time in a few weeks.
Matt: Do you prefer the wine side or the beer side better?
Mathew: Good question, I think I would burn out in either if I was always the cellar rat or respectively a shift brewer. I think I am motivated by the creative process and I don’t think that would change if I was given that freedom on either side.
Matt: How long have you been with Barrelhouse Brewing?
Mathew: 2.5 years.
Matt: How many other breweries or wineries have you worked for (feel free to list them if you want)?
Mathew: I have only been on the payroll of one winery technically but that doesn’t mean I haven’t worked a few other places along the way, hehe. This is my first brewery.
Matt: When I have chatted with you at Barrelhouse you always seem pumped up about what you’re doing…is that show or do you really dig it that much?
Mathew: I really do love the barrel aged beer program at BHBC, its my child and I am very proud of it!
Matt: Any upcoming Barrelhouse projects you’re excited about?
Mathew: 2014 sours are coming out very nice! We are trying some new techniques out and playing with some very cool late fruiting options that I think will get people pumped up! Big shout out to Seth and Zina at Loo Loo Farms!!!
Matt: What’s your favorite aspect of brewing?
Mathew: That there are no limits! We don’t have to conform to as many conceptions of correctness as wine! If I want a little bretty funk or higher tang factor, sour beer lovers will try it with open minds!
Matt: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Mathew: I hope to keep growing the sour beer program at BarrelHouse!
Matt: Based on your Facebook posts I see that you also love cigars and cooking…how did those passions come about?
Mathew: Dad and Mom in that order! I have taken the hobby of cigars a little further intellectually than I think Dad has but he is the one that first explained to me the delicate layers if aroma that one can find within a fine cigar! Food has always been THE primary focus of our household! Mom was and is a chef, I fell in love with the process of making food very early. If you ask her she will tell you about the Saturday morning crepe ritual of my pre-teen years!
Matt: Do you have a favorite cigar right now? Would you pair it with wine or beer?
Mathew: I have become a Tatuaje fan boy, thanks to my friends at the Peripatetic Cigar Club! In my eyes Pete Johnson can do no wrong. I can’t pick a particular cigar to pair but Curly Wolf tends to jive very well with many of Tatuaje’s bolder sticks!
Matt: How about food, what do you love cooking the most? And what would you pair that with?
Mathew: Oh man, what I cook is very seasonal and episodic. I get in a groove with some style or ingredient and run with it for a few weeks then look for something else to obsess over! My date night go-to is seared duck breast with sautéed asparagus and roasted root vegetable puree (well, riffs on that theme tend to knock-em dead). I really like sparkling wine or a lighter Cotes du Rhone with that stuff. I am a fan of higher acids, bright fruits and present tannin structure. I get bored very quickly of the giant, jammy, high PH reds of Paso.
Matt: Other hobbies: music, travel, etc.?
Mathew: Well, not really right now.. Working a lot! I really have a thing for New York though, I visit family out there as much as I can!
Matt: What’s one thing that most people might be surprised to know about you?
Mathew: It might not be the biggest secret at this point but I went to conservatory for Ballet and worked for a little company as a professional dancer for a couple years before coming home to wine. (retired)
Matt: Favorite thing to do when not working?
Mathew: Eat, Drink and be merry!
Matt: Favorite restaurant in Paso Robles?