Humans of Lexington | Lee Northcutt

Lee Northcutt Humans of Lexington

Tell me about Two Bards Brewing.  How did you come to be the brewer here?
We are actually going through a name change currently due to an issue with another beverage manufacturer since we would be using “Bard” in our name. The new name of the brewery is Scout and Scholar. Named after the brothers that founded Bardstown. One was a frontiersman (Scout) and one was a preacher (Scholar). Everything should be announced in the next couple weeks. I have roots in Kentucky and read that there was a brewery opening up. That caught my interest. Met up with everyone to try the beer I was brewing at the time and talk about the vision of what a craft brand should be. Things meshed and the rest they say is history.

When did you first become interested in brewing beer?
I first discovered craft beer when I was working at Mellow Mushroom in Tampa. As I tried different beers we would tap there, I was able to get a good friend on board the craft beer train. He was able to procure a job at a startup brewery as a brewer. I was fortunate enough that he brought me into the mix to help him and also help in the taproom. As time went on as with any startup business we all held many hats and were able to experience many things. I found myself in charge of all operations. I was also able to do an online course from the Siebel Institute of Technology for brewing which helped spark my interest and hone in on my passion. After moving on from that job I worked at another brewery as a brewer. When the head brewer of that brewery left, I was fortunate enough to become head brewer. After being there for 3 years, I felt like the next step in my career should be to build a brand from the ground up from the brewing side. Here we are.

Caleb mentioned you had a unique story, tell me about it?
I’m not sure that it’s that unique but I was raised in Gracey, Kentucky from the age of 3 to 16. Now after 20 years in Florida and have a family of my own, I am very excited to bring my skills back and help grow the great brewing scene that Kentucky has.

If you could collaborate on a beer with anyone, who would it be?
As far as bigger breweries go, Sierra Nevada is my all time favorite. Their beer is always consistent and they still push quality. The brewery they have in Mills River is also my favorite brewery experience, so I would say Ken Grossman and Sierra Nevada.

What are you doing (new technologies/recipes) that no one else has tried yet?
I wouldn’t really say I’m going to re-invent the wheel. I am going to strive to make clean, well balanced and approachable beer no matter what the style. We will have a sour program where we do all in barrel fermentation. Some of the yeasts we will use to accomplish this take years to develop.

How do you come up with the names for your beers?
Any way that I can! Sometimes it’s inspired by the beer after tasting it. Sometimes it’s inspired by other people talking. Sometimes songs. Whatever it takes.

What is your favorite type of beer and why?
I tend to gravitate to either a nice pale ale or a well-made lager. Normally something lower in ABV. I also like beers on Nitro as well.

If you weren’t involved in brewing, what would you be doing?
Something music related and more than likely serving tables on the side just to make more money.

Bottles vs. cans for any beer and why?
Cans for sure. You can’t shotgun a bottle!

Do you have hobbies outside of beer?
I play video games and hangout with my wife and child. Nothing too crazy.

What’s the best part of your job?
I enjoy brewing because of all the variables you are able to deal with makes it where no day is exactly the same. With craft beer as well, there is a certain artistic aspect involved in order to put out a good product.

What do you think makes a good beer?
There are certain “off” flavors that can take over the aroma/flavor of a beer if the process of that beer is off. I enjoy beer the most when no off flavors are present.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
I’m a home body outside of work. Just thankful to be able to hangout with friends and family is enough for me.

What is on the top of your bucket list?
When I was able to study German beer it really opened my eyes to a lot of great beer styles. I would love to go to Germany and be able to try a lot of those beers at the source.