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Don’t Look Back: Orpheus and the Art of Brewing

By September 12, 2013February 25th, 2019No Comments

Don’t look back. In that fateful moment when Orpheus lost focus on his goal, we find the essential lesson that guides us. When Orpheus simply let his music guide him, he was able to make his way into the underworld and to convince Hades to let him bring Eurydice back with him; when he lost trust and looked back, Eurydice vanished.

At Orpheus Brewing, the philosophy is simple: create delicious beers that we want to drink but that don’t exist already. Envisioning that unique beer is often the hardest part, but once it is clearly rendered in my mind, I can develop a plan to make it real.

The goal is always ahead, whether in brewing or any creative endeavor, and seeking that goal requires an unwavering belief in your voice and confidence in your command of the fundamentals of the art.

To look back though is to be led astray. It’s amazing how much even a single word can sway us, whether brewing or playing trumpet as I did in my former career. Band directors would describe good sounds as “dark”, and “dark” sound became my goal. I focused on a very mellow sound without any of the “brightness” that we were told equaled bad playing. And apparently I succeeded as someone walked up to me and said “wow, I thought you were playing a flugelhorn!” I took it as a great compliment and testament to years of focused work.

But a trumpet shouldn’t sound like a flugelhorn or we would all just play flugelhorns! As I grew and listened closer to the great players, it struck me that I didn’t sound like them. There was a whole sonic spectrum in their sound, and I had only tried to produce a small part of this range. This realization not only led to a dramatic change in my sound concept, but that change led to the most productive period of technical growth in my trumpet career.

To look back means allowing your unique voice and perspective to be muffled by public perception unchallenged; the artist strives to create a distinct voice that resonates with their listener. Over the last ten years, I have devoted my life to understanding flavors and the science of brewing, and have focused my creativity on brewing Orpheus’s distinct styles. Though some of our offering will be “dark”, we are excited to share the culmination of a range of influences from eye opening complexity of a Belgian gueuze and the bright fruitiness of an IPA to the sublime harmonies of a Bach prelude or the simple joy of standing on North Highland with a King of Pops popsicle. I will strive to achieve the common theme between them: Orpheus Brewing’s beers will all be distinctively nuanced to provoke and to inspire. Don’t Look Back.


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