Back when I was starting out in craft beer, I started studying for my cicerone. My dad (I grew up Mormon) told me that I was studying trash. My friend had gotten me terrified about passing my test. Tasty told me that he knew I could pass it.
After I did, he said “I knew you could do it”. He took me under his wing when I started taking notes at Øl after my shifts and challenged me further. Instead of notes of “citrus” he questioned me further.
“But what notes of citrus? Is it Meyer lemon? Is it ruby red grapefruit? There’s a big difference.”
He opened up my world as he opened up my palate. We would talk history about different styles and breweries. We could talk for hours as more friends would inevitably join.
He took me as his plus one to Fieldwork’s first anniversary party. He took me to see and go back stage at Dave Matthews band. He called me up to teach me how to brew. He told me that I could be great in this industry and said I reminded him of people I looked up to. He taught me what craft beer actually is - FAMILY. I texted him on my honeymoon when we visited De La Senne in Brussels and saw a tasty sticker on their fridge. He replied back instantly and talked about his last visit.
He was my cheerleader when I had none. He was my family when I had none.
Every time I ran into him at beer festivals, whether it be local or out of state, he introduced me to people that have become good friends.
As I struggle to create a culture that I can be proud of at the brewery that I’ve started and have been leading, I’ve thought of Tasty and how he taught me gently and encouraged me toward success.
Tasty was a very private guy when it came to life outside of beer. I would always ask about his family and his wife. I wanted to get past the brewer and get to know the man. He spoke so highly of Janet and his eyes changed as he remembered her. I could feel both the pain of her loss as well as the immense love he held for her.
We recently lost Tasty to a battle with cancer. I know that he is now with his late wife, Janet, drinking beers that only heaven could have.
This one hurts. It hurts a whole industry. It hurts when a hero dies. I know my memories are minuscule to the whole of what he impacted.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m so lucky having had him in my life.
Tears are flowing even now as I think of how he cheered me on and how he will never get to visit the brewery I've built with my husband. In his honor I will try to be the person he was to me, and try to be that for others. I know I can’t fill those shoes, but his legacy deserves that domino affect.
With that said, we created a new beer and brought back his old favorite recipe in Mike and Janet's honor. These beers are for the man, the myth, the LEGEND - that is Mike "Tasty" Mcdole.
A portion of both beer's proceeds will be donated to cancer research in Mike and Janet's name.
TAY - STEEZE 2-HOP PALE ALE
If you go back through old episodes of The Session podcast on the Brewing Network, he used to say, “The best hoppy beers have only 2 hops and 2 malts.” With that saying in mind, we crafted this 2 hop pale ale in memory of an exceptional mentor. The malt bill consists of 2-row and Dark Munich for a touch of biscuit. Comet and Centennial hops give way to the classic notes of pink grapefruit and resinous pine. Tasty was a friend, a mentor, and a decorated brewer. Many brewers have looked to him for guidance beyond the brew deck. While he’s not here anymore for usto personally cheers, raise your pint - This one’s for Tasty.
JANET'S BROWN ALE
Our significant other is always the most important person in our life. For Mike “Tasty” McDole that was his wife Janet. Featured in the book Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer, Jamil mentions that Tasty would brew this beer for Janet as it was her favorite. Brewed with American malts and classic American hops, this brown ale is quite robust. As Tasty has passed he is now in the company of Janet where we believe this beer is always on tap. We love always… and we remember, always…