Andy Spivack, Resident Beer Expert
How did you end up in Truckee, and what do you love most about our community? I came to California to eventually take advantage of the plethora of Social Work Grad School programs. I chose Truckee for my love of the mountains and the outdoor activities available. Having three childhood friends who lived here made the decision even easier. What I love most about this town is it’s wonderful, and active, community of locals and, of course, its proximity to the outdoor activities close to my heart.
Why do you love beer? Oh god, so many reasons. Beer is a form of art to me; the canvass is its basic ingredients (yeast, barley, water, hops); the style the artistic method. I love experiencing a new beer to see where someone has taken a style, built upon its history, and injected their own ingenuity into it. From the color to the smell to the taste, each brewers take on a style of beer is subtly (or dramatically) different from the others. In addition, beer is a social experience, meant to be shared and enjoyed with people. And each setting lends itself to a different beer. Like wine, beer can be paired with food, but it is also paired with times of day, temperatures, weather, and location. One of the best beers I ever had was a PBR 16oz pounder at 14,309′. Perfection sometimes comes in the form of simplicity. Most of all though, I love beer because of its history, the stories of the styles, and how it is the drink of the peasantry – my ancestors.
What do you like most about being the Coffeebar Beer Expert? I love running beer tastings. Having the privilege of ordering beer at Coffeebar allows me to essentially run a big, perpetual, beer tasting. I like that.
When I’m not at Coffeebar, you can find me… Scurrying up rocks, hiking on a trail, riding my bike, reading by the lake, or enjoying a beer with friends (of course).
What is your favorite city and why? A tough question. My favorite city is Denver, because it succeeds in having the right balance of cool, culture, and proximity to outdoor activities. New York City is the best, pure city. Austin Texas is far and away the coolest place I’ve ever lived. Unfortunately, it’s in Texas. I’m slowly becoming more and more infatuated with Reno.
What did you list as your favorite utensil when you applied? A regular old spoon! You use it for soups and ice cream. My favorite things. Ever.
If you walked in on your wife/husband with another man/woman what would you do? Probably, sarcastically, excuse myself for interrupting them. Then go drink.
What is your favorite beer, or favorite type of beer? Impossible question. I tend to go on style kicks for long periods of time (I’m currently moving out of a year-plus long Saison infatuation), and choice of beer is also often dictated by situation (an 18% strong ale is amazing after dinner, but I’d never drink one sitting on a dock at Donner Lake). With that said though, I often turn back to aforementioned Strong Ales (I have gone on multiple style benders with them) because of the innate complexities. Avery’s Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale is the pinnacle of a style and I’ve labeled that as a “stuck on a desert island” beer, along with Trappistes Rochefort 10 (Belgian Quad).
What’s in your picnic basket? Pan-Bagnat (on homemade French Country Bread of course). Lemon-Dill Potato Salad. Arugula Salad with Pear and Goat Cheese in a Lemon Vinaigrette. Strawberry Shortcake. A couple really awesome beers. (BTW: I LOVE picnics)
What’s at the top of your travel bucketlist? A seven month bike tour of Europe. Been thinking about it for YEARS.
What is something yo are extremely proud of? That people consider me a “good” person.
I would really love to learn how to…. Mountaineer.
If I had to choose between the following — dragon, alligator, monkey, eagle, rat — I would pick: Eagle. Bad. Ass.
I couldn’t live without…. Those perfect moments. You know the ones I am talking about.
I’m really good at…. Hiking long distances with a heavy pack without complaining one bit.
My idea of a perfect day is… An awesome, leisurely breakfast, followed by climbing and hiking, maybe an afternoon cappuccino and then grilling with good friends and good beer around a fire.
From your perspective, what makes Coffeebar special? The combination of well crafted coffee, simple food, excellent beer and wine, and community, is a really unique thing. In a world where business is often dominated by greed, lies, and cost-cutting, CoffeeBar lends itself as a model of what you can do that is good for your body, soul, and community. I’m proud to be a part of it.