Craft Calculations: How Mike Stein Brews with Process
Edward Jones is proud to work with financial advisors from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, from finance and accounting to sales and service. We know that a diverse team of financial advisors across the country is key to meeting our clients’ unique needs, but that diversity extends to skills, hobbies and interests, too.
We last spoke with Chris Knott, a financial advisor in Alaska who raced sled dogs. This week, we met with Mike Stein, a financial advisor in York, PA. Mike joined the firm in 2009 after starting his career in mortgage lending. We talked with Mike about how he started brewing his own beer and the approach he takes to his craft.
Mike, how did you get started in homebrewing?
A few years ago, there was a local homebrew shop that held classes for beginners. I always had an interest in the process behind brewing beer, so I got a friend and we went to a few classes. From there, I started brewing small batches in my unfinished basement. Now, I’m at a point where I’m completely renovating my basement to accommodate a brand new brewing system.
What do you like most about brewing?
I’ve always been drawn to things that are driven by process. And brewing is a very extensive process. It demands attention. I enjoy brewing for its structure and process. When I formulate recipes, I have the ability to get creative while still having a very repeatable end result. For me, brewing is a creative outlet. I can take my mind off work while still using my mind in a fun way.
How would you describe your approach to brewing?
Coming from finance, I’m very calculated. I bring that same approach to my beer. I measure everything, from the mash to the pH level of my water to the weight of the hops and malt. I also keep a diligent log of my brew days. That way, if something turns out really well or really poor, I know what variable caused the change and I can repeat or avoid it as needed.
What styles of beer do you like to brew?
I like to brew a little bit of everything. I’ve done IPAs, fruited IPAs, Belgian witbiers, brown ales, stouts. The only big style I haven’t touched is sour beers, as the bacteria required presents a number of issues I’m not keen on handling.
Where do you find inspiration for your beers?
I’ve had a lot of success in replicating some of my favorite beers from across the country. If I’m going to spend eight or so hours brewing, I want to know that the end product will be something delicious. So I’ll start formulating with those flavors in mind.
You also have a clever way of naming your beers. Tell us about it.
I based my entire concept around my career in finance. I like to call my brewery Basis Point, a term used to describe differences in interest rates, but it could also be used to describe ABV. My beers follow a similar naming style, with a little nod to the beer I’m emulating. For example, I called one of my IPAs “P/E Ratio,” for price-earnings ratio. I also called one of my beers Dormant Shell, a nod to both zombies and shell corporations.
What do you do with all your beer? Surely you can’t drink it all.
Oh no. I actually don’t drink much beer. I prefer pairing it with food over drinking it by itself. So I brew and bottle what I can and typically give it out to my friends and a few clients who are really into beer. For me, the real enjoyment is in the formulating and the processing.
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