Time For A Nap? Have A Beer!
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By Jams O’Donnell, email@example.com
You sit down with Alex Coronado, sure you’re gonna talk beer, but he’ll weave (or pivot, as he likes to say) through a host of other topics. Unsurprisingly, he was a philosophy student at college, so he sees things through a pretty interesting lens.
He’s passionate about beer…and music…he plays disc golf. He says he got his love of food and flavors through his parents – Peruvian father and American mother. He discovered his love of beer on trips to Europe. He homebrewed ferociously while in college.
“It fed into what I had already been enjoying in beer,” Alex said. And he was fortunate that there was an English-style brewpub in his college town (SUNY, Fredonia) that kept him abreast of oatmeal stouts and ESBs.
His first commercial gig came via “a drunken conversation” one night at The Old Toad in Rochester with Custom Brewers (now CB Craft Brewers) Head Brewer Bruce Lish. “He offered me a job on the spot…and I took it.”
After the first day, even though it was just cleaning – mash tun and kegs, Alex was like, “I’ve found what I want to do. That was easy. Continue on.”
Custom Brewers was the perfect place for him – they brewed over 90 beers a year for all sorts of different clients. After a couple of years he was brewing all the beer and writing all the recipes.
“Buffalo, Rochester – every little bar in the area wanted their own brand and have their own spin on whatever style they wanted. As result, we had so many specialty ingredients and different kind of hops. I was really able to develop an intuition for flavor.”
Alex was considering signing up for a master brewers course at Weihenstephan in Germany – but a job offer from Andean Brewing Co. (Kuka beer, Blauvelt, NY) came up. “I figured I’d get paid instead of going into debt,” but he added, “Munich’s still not off the table.”
The Kuka brand was foundering, to say the least, when Alex arrived in 2014 and Andean was being propped up by contract brewing. One of the original partners departed leaving Alex and remaining partner Andrea Pepito to save the ship.
Along came Nap Time Liquid Creation. “I had a desire to start my own project, as pretty much any brewer will say. It’s been wonderful to work with Andrea and to make that happen here,” Alex said.
“We brew for a number of different breweries. Nap Time is one of them and it’s just taken over….I’m not mad about that. I’m functionally contracting for myself here.”
Alex’s key to good beer is what the Belgians call digestibility. Others call it drinkability. “No matter the style, you need to be able to drink two beers and enjoy them or else you’ve failed as a brewer in my estimation…. whatever milkshake hopsoup you made.”
In his 10 years of brewing Alex has seen a sea change in consumer tastes, although he says it can be somewhat confusing. “A lot of people are exploring now in beer and I think that’s really exciting. It’s fantastic that people want to see what beer can be and to realize that it can be anything and that’s a really important mental jump as far as respecting the liquid but if you don’t have anything that you really go back to, that is really for you then it’s just a video game that you’re playing, and that’s fine too, but ultimately it’s going to be a detriment to the industry.”
He acknowledges that brewers get annoyed with the fickleness of consumers, the shift away from flagships and core brands, but they also cater to the 1-off beer culture. “I love that you can be so dynamic now and make a new beer every time and people will get excited about it. My worry is that quality goes by the wayside in that scramble. It’s really confusing, but it’s fun. I still love making beer.”
Many of his beer names are musical lyric related: Interstellar Space (Rye IPA) Lick the Mind of God (NEDIPA), Garden of Forking Paths (Saison), Map of 49’s Dream (Brown Ale).
Currently, being summer and all, Alex is really into lagers, like Incantation, his classic German Pils or The Dreamer, a dry (German) hopped light lager at 4.7% He’s also really into Brut IPA, a style that many have brewers have tried recently but failed to master – it’s more about the acids he says, not the hops. Blue Rose has an interesting ingredient for color and aroma – Butterfly Pea Flowers.
Another Brut IPA is in the works – Translinear Light brewed with pineapple and key lime. Sours and spontaneous fermentation brews are all in Napime’s future Alex said, but one brew he’s particularly excited about is a Double IPA with marijuana terpenes. Note – that’s terpenes (flavor) not THC (active ingredient).
“I would never be interested in mixing THC with alcohol. It seems it’s irresponsible to me. But I love those flavors I think it could make a great beer. I’ve been waiting for this for a while and finally found a supplier who has a good product.” Expect a West Coast dank IPA.
Recently his fellow brewers from Rockland County (Defiant, District 96, Industrial Arts and Gentle Giant) dropped by for a Collab. They brewed a New England IPA – Rocklandia – ironically it dropped clear!
On expansion…”We don’t want to be a regional player. Be a decent community citizen. Send down roots in your local community and do right by the people who give a shit about you.”
Music…Alex likes all types of music. He plays bass in Delta Sierra whose members are all based in the Ithaca area, but they play in the Rockland County area sometimes. They played Industrial Arts last year; otherwise Alex commutes north.
On disc golf, art, brewing – “It’s all different variations of flavor in my mind.”
Nap Time Liquid Creation is located in the Bradley Industrial Park off Route 303 in Blauvelt, NY. Their tasting room is open Thurs-Fri 3-9pm; Sat-Sun 1-9pm.