Straight to the Pint: Craft-beer genius brews up a Storm

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      Straight to the Pint taps those on the frontlines of our booming local craft-beer industry for stories about their biggest brewing successes, dream vacation spots, and which brand was always in the family fridge.

      Who are you

      James N. Walton—Super Genius. I’m also the owner and brewer at Storm Brewing.

      Your dad's favourite beer

      My dad didn’t really drink but he liked a good rye and 7.

      First go-to brand

      I’ve been home brewing since I was 15, so my home-brews were always my go-to!

      Life-changing beer

      It was 1991, and there was a cask of Redhook wheat beer at their brewery in Seattle. It was all cloudy and had pieces of hops floating in it. Excellent!

      Dream destination

      I recently went to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to see a rocket launch. Anything that has to do with science, I love. My dream destination would be outer space.

      First beer brewed

      I grew up on a farm in Port Alberni, and at 15 I decided it would be a good idea to steal barley from my mom’s horses. I sprouted it and dried it in our oven. I followed all the usual brewing steps with my mom’s pots and strainers in the kitchen. The result was an undrinkable black, acrid, two-percent–ABV [alcohol by volume] beer. I’ve gotten better.

      Crowning achievement

      Glacial Mammoth Extinction! Last December, I released the strongest “beer” in Canada, at 25 percent ABV. To celebrate, I teamed up with local East Vancouver artists to create one-of-a-kind collector bottles. There were 10 made in total and they all sold for $1,000 each.

      I’'d love a beer with

      Albert Einstein! We could talk about the recent measurement of gravity waves. He’s German, so I think he’d enjoy a helles lager. Maybe I’ll make one and call it Einstein! Stay tuned.

      Amanda Siebert