Starting the only brewery-distillery in Minnesota is the latest in a long line of adventures for Bartley Blume. After attending Auburn University, Bartley began working for NASA’s destructive testing department, where he tested the durability of equipment and materials, sometimes with explosives. After NASA, Bartley joined a St. Paul–based aerospace engineering firm and spent 18 months in Australia building a transonic wind tunnel. Next, Bartley worked for the firm’s Business Development group, traveling throughout Australia, Southeast Asia, and South America before shedding the shackles of corporate bondage to make tasty adult beverages for a living.
Bartley started home brewing in 2007 after receiving a Mr. Beer kit from Brenda. The hobby quickly attracted a cult following among friends and family around the BBQ pit. With this encouragement, Bartley decided to go all the way and began to develop the Bent Brewstillery brand image and company vision. The plan was to start with a very small operation, using the 40-gallon homebrew system to brew for a small taproom while a local microbrewer brewed larger batches for distribution to bars and liquor stores. That plan changed when Bent Brewstillery merged with Pour Decisions in 2013. Now there’s a fully functional microbrewery in operation, pumping our brutal barley beverages for the public to enjoy.
Brenda takes sole responsibility for the creation of Bent Brewstillery: her gift of a Mr. Beer kit started Bartley on his obsession that eventually became both of their new careers. Brenda spent many years as the accounting manager of a major metal goods distributor and has finally found freedom in this new venture. By controlling the purse strings to Bartley’s business, she has finally found the ideal way to control her husband. Now if she can just find a way to get him to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher…
Kristen is a Grand Master Beer Judge and all around maestro. He holds a BS in biochemistry from Michigan State University and a PhD in pharmacology at the University of Minnesota. One of the winningest home brewers in the US, Kristen founded Pour Decisions Brewing Company (now merged with Bent Brewstillery). Kristen is the youngest Grand Master (III) judge in the history of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and has also served on the core team that writes the BJCP style guidelines.
Kristen created the Continuing Education Program for the BJCP and served as its director until starting Pour Decisions. Kristen has contributed to Stan Hieronymus’s Brewing with Wheat and Mitch Steele’s IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale, and he posts a weekly historic “Let’s Brew Wednesday” recipe on Ron Pattinson’s Shut Up about Barclay Perkins Blog. He coauthored the book 1909 Beer Style Guide with Pattinson and is currently writing a book on brewing Session beers.
Mike has spent many years in the music industry promoting bands and can tell you more than you’d ever want to know about the characteristics of any beverage he picks up. Call it fate or call it luck, soon after his twenty-first birthday, Mike met Jim Koch, the founder of Sam Adams. During that meeting, he learned firsthand about the intricate brewing methods and importance of ingredients that make a quality product. Since then, his view of beer has been based on those principles. Born and raised in Nordeast, Mike has seen the amazing impact of local breweries in and around the community. He is excited to drive the continuation of great local beers and tastefully crafted spirits throughout the great state of Minnesota.