Slowing down means many things to different people. Part of our #slowdownwithschoolhouse campaign is to honor and share those unique stories, and what better way then highlight our very own Schoolhouse staff?
Next up in our Employee Spotlight series is Scott Wilson. Above all, Scott loves spending time with his family (wife, Wednesday and daughter, Emmi) and finding ways to nurture his hobbies. A culinary and hop expert, his craft takes time. Here's an inside look at Scott's life at home and how he reflects on his time to slow down...
What is your role within Schoolhouse?
I provide support and expertise to our customers through the sales department. We are lucky enough to be involved in a wide range of projects, from small residential remodels to restaurants, hotels, and film productions. It's very stimulating work. Areas that I focus on include trade sales and lighting design.
In line with our Slowing Down theme, what would a slowing down kind of day look like for you?
A perfect recuperative day would start with buckwheat pancakes and vinyl on the turntable. All-grain brewing usually takes between 6 - 7 hours, so it's nice to get that with plenty of daylight left. Good cheese, bread and of course beer have to find their way into the mix. Because I'm not using pumps to transfer liquids, the process is fairly physical and you end up with that satisfying, slightly worn-out feeling after the yeast has been pitched and the equipment cleaned.
How do you make time to slow down?
Having a wife and daughter that not only understand my love of brewing, but actually take part in it, is a huge benefit. That makes it possible. I like to invite friends over as well, and open it up to anyone that takes an interest.
How did you first get involved with your craft? What advice can you give to other makers out there?
Focus on the basic elements first. Learn to observe the rules before you break them. So if
you're passion is crepes, perfect the classic version before using an egg substitute or some exotic ingredient.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration from this intensely creative place called Portland. The brewing scene has so many different talented people and a great deal of experimentation. My first exposure to brewing came in culinary school, and I worked with many fine chefs over my decade in the industry. It's all about understanding and respecting the process. Of course enjoying it too.
What are some of your favorite moments while making your craft?
I grow a few varieties of hops at home, and the harvesting, drying and packaging of the flowers is really fun. It's very satisfying to sample the result and know that you grew the hops in that beer. It's like catching a fish on a fly that you've tied yourself. It's a different level of engagement and appreciation. I also love the moment when you test and sample the beer after the second fermentation stage, when for the first time you can glimpse what the final result might be. The process isn't finished, but you see where it is going. The yeast have a huge and somewhat mysterious affect on the beer's development, and you never really know what you have until you come through that stage.