Welcome to The Prost Questionnaire. It’s like the Proust Questionnaire, but with more fun, and more beer. The concept is simple, we ask brewers a series of questions, and they can answer as many or as few as they like. Prost!
Mat Van Wyk makes an impression wherever he works. During his early years as a brewer in the midwest, he was named the Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. During seven years at Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, he helped the brewery grow tenfold while launching a successful barrel-aging program. And over the past five years at Alesong, a brewery he co-founded, his beers have won six medals at GABF. Want to try some of those barrel-aged masterpieces? You’re in luck, because social distancing is easy at Alesong. The taproom sits on five acres 16 miles southwest of Eugene. Learn more here.
Hometown: Wilton, Iowa (pop. 2,800)
Favorite beer: Tough question! The one in my hand? I’m a sucker for Rodenbach Grand Cru. I hope that’s in my hand.
Beatles or Stones? Beatles. I’m a bit strange and I’ll know when to hang it up and stop touring.
When I’m not drinking beer, I’m drinking… Whiskey or Gin dependent on the weather that day.
If I weren’t a brewer I’d be a… Teacher. That’s where I started. Seems like a good vocation.
My dream collaboration is… Probably Firestone Walker. Do they do anything that isn’t awesome?
When I’m not brewing beer you can find me… dreaming about how I’ll fill my time when my kids move out of the house.
What’s on the stereo when you’re brewing? Whatever the Block 15 brewers or Ninkasi Brewers want to listen to. That’s where I brew. If we’re in our cellar, it’s likely Bluegrass or some variation of Americana.
Ale or lager? I brew ales and I seem to be drinking more lagers.
What was your first craft beer? While most ‘flavor forward’ beer I drank in the midwest in the late nineties was European imports, I think the first American craft beer might have been Millstream Brewing in Amana Iowa while on a field trip for a college education class,1994.
Favorite book? The Stand, Stephen King
Favorite album? Bridges to Burt, Leftover Salmon
Favorite vacation spot? Favorite once of a lifetime-Gibbs Farm, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania Africa. Favorite repeat visit vacation-The Forest, NW, USA.
Favorite quote? “There’s no such thing as a bad beer. It’s that some taste better than others.” -Billy Carter
The next big thing in beer will be… who knows but criticizing it will probably make me sound like a grumpy old man, er brewer.
Timbers or Blazers? Blazers. I like to use my hands.
If you could choose anyone to have a beer with, it would be? Jean Van Roy of Cantillon and Yvan deBaets of Brasserie de la Senne. The two of those gentleman have generations of knowledge on the brewing of lambic beer and farmhouse ales. Enough knowledge to fill a dump truck full of goodness.