Welcome to the breweriesinpa.com “Meet The Brewer” series! Where we interview brewers in Pennsylvania, from breweries small to large. Let us know if you know anyone who should be featured, email us at email@example.com.
Round Guys Brewing Company opened in 2012, in a former printing shop in Lansdale. Since opening, the brewery has won many regional and national awards for a variety of beer styles. Co-owned by Rudich, Bill McGeeney and Brian Derbyshire, RGBC opened their second location, the Glenside Ale House last September.
Scott Rudich has been the head brewer since Round Guys started in 2012. Brewing a wide variety of beers, the tap list is large and ever-changing. Read below to learn more about Scott including how he got started in craft beer, where he sees the industry heading, what his favorite beer to drink right now is, and MORE!
What was your introduction to craft beer?
When I turned 21, went into a beer store and bought a 6 pack of Pete’s wicked ale. This was back in the Buffalo New York area. I picked it out because it was different than what everyone else was drinking (moosehead, Labbatts, imports were king in the late 90’s.
How did you get started as a brewer?
I tried a brew in a bag recipe kit in 2002 and it was terrible. Then in November 2008 I bought my first extract kit from Keystone Homebrew at the suggestion of a friend. That was the start.
What style allows you to be the most creative, and why?
I’m not really interested in creativity. You can only add so many adjuncts, spices, fruits etc. what interests me most is technique, and producing well rounded, drinkable beers. I like to hide the alcohol on big beers and make sure lower ABV beers present robust flavor. If anything recreating historical styles interests me the most.
What was the first beer you ever brewed, and what did you learn from it?
I brewed a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone. My neighbors loved it, I loved it taught me I could brew drinkable beer.
Where do you see the craft beer industry heading in the next few years?
I think it’s all about finding your niche. Some brewers, may diversify as Sam Adams has done with hard seltzer, twisted tea, etc. for small guys like us, you have to find your style. We can’t all make 12 IPAs.
Describe what it’s like to be a brewer in Pennsylvania.
It’s challenging. We have a very sophisticated consumer base. Philly has been the nexus of craft beer on the east coast since the mid-90’s. I’ve traveled to regions that are newer to craft beer and the quality is not what we have here. PA also has a very strong and very active state guild and the brewers really do so much to help each other.
What is the inspiration behind your beer names?
We tried several approaches. The first was inside jokes/frat boy humor/double entendres, but that was limited and often required long explanations. We then went with local history names, but we got a C&D from a brewery that never happened and some of the names just didn’t seem to catch on with consumers. We finally found our footing with Song Names/Lyrics, etc. we do a lot to support local original music and we find that customers were really drawn to those names, especially if they could guess the reference.
What is your favorite beer to drink right now?
I’m digging Samurai Cop. It’s our Pilsner, fermented at ale temps and then dry hopped. We just added a dedicated tank solely for Pilsners, and all lager beer not named Lansdale Lager.
What is the most important lesson you learned in the beer industry so far?
I’m not sure there is one specific lesson. I could probably fill two columns with lessons from the beer industry. If I had to pick one, I think it would be to never compare yourself to another brewery. Be yourself. You never completely know someone else’s experiences, facilities or finances.
Thank you to Scott Rudich for talking with us! Make sure you visit Round Guys Brewing Company for all the latest beers, news, information and special events. And also follow Round Guys on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
For more information go to breweriesinpa.com