The Aeronaut Team: Ronn

This is our first in a series of posts on the people who make up Aeronaut Brewing Company. Here, we introduce the quirky characters who envisioned this brewery and urban farmhouse, and are now making it a reality.

I wasn’t always into brewing, but I’ve always had a fascination with very complicated cooking projects. At some point, I got into a string of fermentation related endeavors (kimchi, hard cheeses, bread) and inevitably, beer ended up in the repertoire.  Of course, as the many homebrewers in this world will attest to, brewing can quickly end up as an obsession. I was fascinated by the many styles of beers and methods of brewing. Even more importantly, I wanted to understand the yeast and bacteria involved in beermaking. I found myself getting involved in beer at a time when brewers were really starting to appreciate the microbiology of spontaneously fermented ales and barrel-aged beers.  As a microbiologist, these new studies and experiments were my siren call to the world of brewing.

Ronn inspects some home-grown yeast
Ronn inspects some home-grown yeast

In my other life, I’m getting a PhD studying microbiology as it relates to medical materials, and studying the behavior of bacteria. I’ve been very excited about using my microbiology skills to make awesome beer. I’ve already been cultivating some yeast for our beers and plan to make this an important part of Aeronaut.

Same wort, different yeasts
Same wort, different yeasts

We’re gearing up to build a lab space for growing and storing our own brewing microbes right in the brewery.  We plan to keep prototyping beers and testing out different yeasts as we go. And yes, we’re very excited to share these comparative beer batches with our brewery guests. Yeast and other microbes account for much of the flavor in beer, so the more we can understand them and cater to their needs, the better our beer will taste.  I couldn’t be happier about the prominent role we’re giving microbiology in our brewery, and I’m looking forward to ensuring that our yeast are always healthy and content.

-Ronn Friedlander

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