Meet the Brewer-Reuben’s Brews
Adam Robbings: Co-founder and Brewmaster, Reuben’s Brews in Seattle.
Hometown: Adam was born in West London and lived in North London for the 10 years before he moved to the USA. He’s now lived in Seattle longer than any other city or town in his life, so he now thinks of it as his hometown, regardless of his accent.
Favorite Beer: Adam says that of all the beers he’s brewed, his favorite is probably the Gose, noting that he always loves a challenge and this beer presented a lot of process and recipe challenges. It was Reuben’s first kettle-soured beer, brewed to commemorate the brewery’s third anniversary in 2015. Adam brewed three test batches at home on a five-gallon system before he was comfortable with the process. Then he scaled it up to 200 gallons at the brewery. He says that the ingredient sourcing was also fun. Beyond normal beer stuff, they had to source salt and coriander. Adam is very particular about such things, so he sniffed a lot of bulk coriander before making a final decision. The first batch of Gose they brewed on the big system won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, which might help explain Adam’s affection for it.
Brewing Pedigree: Like many brewers, Adam started out as an avid homebrewer. He won a lot of medals, both locally and nationally, including a medal at the National Homebrewers Competition. After deciding to go pro, Adam studied Intensive Brewing Science at University of California Davis.
Beyond the beer: Adam and his wife Grace, a fellow Co-Founder at the brewery, have two young boys, Reuben and Warren. Between operating a brewery and raising two kids, Adam doesn’t have a lot of spare time these days, but he hopes to find more time for golf in the future. When he was young, Adam actually considered pursuing a career as a pro golfer, though he humbly says that he wouldn’t have been a very good one. His game is pretty rough these days but eventually he hopes to get back into the swing of things, so to speak.
His Story: Shortly after the arrival of their first baby, Reuben, Grace decided that a homebrew kit would be a great way for her husband to maintain his sense of self-identity in the face of fatherhood. Grace actually credits Reuben with coming up with the idea, although he was just one month old when she bought Adam the homebrew kit as a gift.
Grace figured that Adam would give up on the hobby not long after picking it up, but that was not the case. The homebrew kit did not end up gathering dust in a corner of the garage as she’d expected. Far from it. Adam soon became an avid brewer, something that might be genetically engrained in his English blood. He says that moving to the USA from the UK helped him understand how good beer could be, because the craft beer scene there, at that time, was lagging behind a bit.
Before long, Adam was entering his beers in competitions and winning medals. Brewing became a full-blown obsession and the idea of opening a brewery came to life, just as Reuben came to life and helped start the whole thing. Naming the brewery after his first son seemed an obvious choice.