Interview by Abernathy Cochran intern and Gainesville High School senior Grady Vardeman
Meet Patrick McCormac! He is married to Katie and is the assistant brewer at Left Nut Brewing Company. He assists with daily activities including brewing and testing beer, creating new beers, marketing and distribution. Patrick attended the University of Alabama and is a lifetime Gainesville resident.
He said for everyone to keep an eye out for two new LNB beers this spring!
“We still carry our core beers, so we have five core beers, European Style Blonde Ale, Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, an IPA, and a double IPA. Right now, we are specifically working on two beers that are more targeted towards spring and summertime for enjoying on the lake. The first beer we are working on is called Lake Honey Lager and it’s going to be a new year-round lager that we are going to promote as being able to drink on the lake. It uses local North Georgia flower honey and so it’s not too sweet and not too light either… it’s kinda right there in the middle.”
We want to thank Patrick for recently spending time with us and telling us more about his life and love of Hall County.
Question: What does a regular day at LNB look like?
A: “Wake up, come in, and go over our tasks for the day, and that can be anything from cleaning the brewhouse, cleaning kegs, getting them ready for distribution to taking over brewing responsibilities, testing and measuring– and all the science that goes behind making our beer.”
Q: How long does take to brew a typical beer at LNB?
A: “Typically, it would take about two weeks to brew, ferment, and then it would take about an additional week to package… so depending on the beer it can take up to a month but typically it takes two and a half to three weeks?”
Q: Do you do the packaging here?
A: “We do the packing here as well, we just purchased our own canning line so we are going to be able to release more limited beers– more seasonal offerings that we can usually only serve here in the taproom. Since we are installing our new canning line we will be able to take the small batch beers that we usually only have in the taproom and be able to package it and sell them to market.”
Q: What’s the second new spring beer?
A: “The second beer we are working on is called the Pure Source, which is going to be an IPA and we are doing that in collaboration with the Chattahoochee River Keeper. The Times put an article out about how the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is doing a campaign this year where they are working with seven breweries all in Georgia, that uses the water from the Lake and the rivers for their beers; so we are releasing our beer in April…it’s going to be a slightly juicer IPA.
“Trends right now are moving towards the lagers or the lighter ales. Blonde ales, Golden ales… stuff that you can drink throughout a longer period of time. It seems to get to a point where it’s like let’s see how much stuff we can throw in there and make it work and you now you’ve got a beer with ice cream, and cereal called pastry beers. They’re made with chocolate and muffins. So, the pendulum is swinging backwards to people wanting a light, refreshing, enjoyable beer that they can sip on throughout the day or throughout the evening instead of just having one or two.”
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: “My love and passion for craft beer. When I turned 21 I began branching out of your typical Bud Light, Miller Light you know mass-produced beers and I really enjoy the flavor that the artisan and craft beers can bring. I’m a huge hop head so I love the hoppy beers, the more hops the better so that’s kind of what first intrigued me. My brother, who is about six years older than I am, got me into it. He bought me a Sweetwater 420 and then the rest is history. I started home brewing after that.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “I’ve lived in Hall County all my life, the only time I haven’t lived here was when I was in school at the University of Alabama for five years, then moved back to Hall County in 2015.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “My favorite restaurant in Hall County would be Avocados, I really like how everything is fresh and made in house. I particularly like their steak, I love taking my wife there.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “I would travel to Belgium or Germany, I would love to see the atmosphere and culture they have in those places and try all the different beers, as well. It would also be cool to learn more about my industry while I am there.”
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “My favorite movie would have to be ‘Goodfellas,’ I love mob and gangster movies and I’ll watch it anytime it’s ever on the TV.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “To always look at a glass half full and to support everyone, because there’s room for everyone at the top.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “To eventually own and operate my own brewery or a craft beer restaurant, it’s a goal of mine right now.”
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “I’m a big music guy, I like Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, and more of those jam band kinda styles, I also really enjoy rap and hip-hop.”
Q: What current or local business makes you most nostalgic about Hall County?
A: “The restaurant that brings me back to my childhood is the Golden Buddha that used to be on Thompson Bridge. My friend back then was actually the family that owned the restaurant. So, I would always go there after school and always hang out there countless weekends. Before they tore it down it always used to give me flashbacks.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “The community and how they support one another. I grew up on the lake, so I’ve always enjoyed that and the fact that we’re right at the foothills. It wouldn’t be that far of a drive to Atlanta or the mountains which is something I also love.”
Q: Do you have any special talents?
A: “I sling brews and sing tunes, but I do one better than the other.”
Q: What three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Relaxation, comfort, and laughter.”