We here at Empty Growler are big fans of all things craft beer and technology, so it’s no secret we are heavy Untappd users. In case you missed it, here is our interview with John Vajda from Untappd. Today, we start a new interview series with Untappd Super Users. What is a Super User you ask? Well, Super Users are volunteers that are passionate about beer and Untappd. They help out on the back end of things and do their best to make the experience better for Untappd users. We decided it would be fun to shine the spotlight on some of these regular beer guys.
Rob Fonseca: I am a graphic/web designer and create websites and newspaper ads for the movie exhibition industry.
Empty Growler: How did you get into drinking craft beer?
Rob Fonseca: My Father-in-law was very into beer and all it’s different varieties. Upon having my first dinner at their house, one of the beers he had was Yuenling lager. I tried it and really enjoyed the flavor of it compared to my usual Coors Light. Having never tried a dark beer, he happened to be drinking a Yuenling Porter…once I tried it, I was hooked. I had always preferred Sam Adams Boston Lager over Coors light, but the Yuenling porter is what opened up a completely new style that I liked and I would make a point to buy something different everytime I went to the store.
EG: What got you started with Untappd and then become a SU?
Rob: My brother-in-law (also a Super User), mentioned it to me one night so I checked it out. I had always wanted a list of beers I had tried and wanted to keep track of them and I found it to be such a great tool for that purpose. I wasn’t using it for the social interaction part, but I soon saw the value of knowing where someone was drinking a particular beer near me and asking my friends where they got it.
EG: Tell us a bit about your local beer scene and favorite local breweries.
Rob: Connecticut has never had a huge craft beer scene, but with great breweries like Thomas Hooker and New England Brewing Company, it has attracted a pretty faithful following in recent years. This year there are about 5 brewries scheduled to open up and the CT Beer Trail is organizing some exciting events. My local favorite is Cavalry Brewing in Oxford since it is only a 15minute drive. They make some great English-style session ales that are great for having more than one and won’t destroy your palette.
The nice thing about living in Fairfield county Connecticut is access to the NY beer scene. DeCicco’s Marketplace opened last fall in Brewster, NY and the beer selection is INCREDIBLE! They also have a 12 tap bar in the grocery store and regularly hold tap takeover’s every 2 weeks. The bartenders are very knowledgeable about beer and they also age kegs in a temperature controlled room. A must visit if you are ever near the Danbury, CT area, but bring a checkbook because you might drop $200 on some of the hardest to find beers out there.
EG: You are standing in front of a wall of every beer you can imagine, but can only choose 4 for a mix and match, what do you go with?
EG: What are a few beers you have yet to try that you are on the hunt for?
Rob: Although I have heard Pliny the Elder is not as good as the hype, it is still something every beer lover needs to try and being on the East Coast, it is nearly impossible to get. At the top of my list at the moment is Heady Topper by The Alchemist, which I hear does live up to the hype. Before the floods hit Vermont last fall, The Alchemist was one of the pubs I wanted to take a weekend visit to try out because of the rave reviews. Now that it is gone (for now) and they are only canning one beer, it has become a mission for me to find it.