My Other Life with Douglas Gabbard

PM360 recently spoke to Douglas Gabbard, Marketing Channel Manager – Savings Card and eSampling Programs at AstraZeneca, about the life of a home brewer.


PM360: I understand that you brew your own beer. Can you tell us how you became interested in that?

Douglas: I began home brewing about eight years ago and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I’ve dabbled in several different hobbies over the years but brewing was the first to hold my interest for longer than a few months. Somewhat ironically, I used to think I hated beer. Turns out I wasn’t drinking the right beers.

What do you enjoy most about brewing?

I guess I’ve always enjoyed the richness of the subject and the variety of areas to explore. Beyond the actual process of brewing, I’m fascinated by the history and learning about the significant role beer has played in society for over 10,000 years.

While I’m not an engineer by trade, I’ve always enjoyed creating things and learning how they work. As a brewer, I’ve been able to learn a lot about the chemical and process engineering side of brewing. The control panel was a bit trickier and required me to learn about electrical and mechanical engineering as well. So, I really have several hobbies all rolled up in one.

Other than getting to drink the beer yourself, what is the best part about creating your own concoctions?

Whether you like beer, wine, tea or coffee, we’ve probably all experienced the physical and emotional response you have when you taste something you think is “superb.” I feel that way about good beers, and I get a lot of satisfaction from creating that experience for others. I’ve also made my fair share of what I call “backyard beers” over the years. Those are the ones that I “return to nature” in my backyard. Hey, it happens!

How has your home brewery evolved over the year?

Like most, I started very small in my garage. Then a few years ago, we were having our basement finished and I decided to build my “dream brewery” into the floor plan. From there, it took me a couple of years to buy and build everything you see now. All of this is far more than what is necessary to brew great beers and most home brewers don’t go to this extreme.

I am blessed to have the best (and most patient) wife in the world! Through it all, she has never once complained about my strange and occasionally expensive purchases, even when I was certain she wanted to. It helps that she likes the end results as well.

Of course, I have to ask: What is your favorite beer that you have brewed so far?

I’ve been perfecting my black IPA recipe for about nine months now and, not to brag, but it’s phenomenal. We entertain a lot, and my black IPA is always the first to disappear. You can always count on your friends to help you get rid of a great beer. These days, my biggest problem is keeping up with demand!


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