Brewer’s Choice: Trail’s Edge head brewer Dan Luksetich on getting inspiration from Koningshoeven and Rodenbach, a love of Goldfinger lagers and launching his own pairing events in Frankfort
Head brewer & certified Cicerone at Trail’s Edge Brewing Co.
1. The last really good beer you drank was…
While I have not yet consumed all the world’s beer yet, I’m a tireless fan of Rodenbach Red Ale (classic). I was first introduced to it by Greg Hall at a Goose Island beer dinner in the late ’80s or early ’90s, and instantly fell in love with this beer. I’ve been to the Rodenbach Brewery many times and have my good friend and head of Rodenbach operations, Rudi Ghequire, on speed dial on my phone.
I also proclaim myself as partly responsible for bringing Rodenbach in cans here to the United States. It’s a beer with a remarkable history and a flavor profile that is distinct, refreshing, and most people find enjoyable, even the folks that proclaim they don’t like beer. It’s a bridge between beer and wine, combining two-year aged beer with fresh beer. Some find it sweet, some find it sour, I find it wonderful!
I’m a fan of lagers. Goldfinger has really blown me away with the quality of their beer. I always try to keep a few cans in my beer fridge at home.
2. What fellow Illinois breweries and specific beers have impressed you lately?
I’m a fan of lagers. Goldfinger has really blown me away with the quality of their beer. I always try to keep a few cans in my beer fridge at home, and it will be the first beer I order at any place that has it on draft. My favorites are the pilsner and the original lager. Extremely high quality and an absolute pleasure to drink.
I’m also a fan of Metropolitan’s Krankshaft kölsch and Stromhaus helles. Their Microvolt lager is a session lager that packs a wonderful amount of flavor for a 3.8% ABV lager.
Since being hired at Trail’s Edge, I’ve introduced a series of events that serve as an introduction to beer and food parings. We had our first event last fall with a beer and cheese tasting, and we’ll continue that this year as well.
3. What are you most proud of at your brewery?
Since being hired at Trail’s Edge last July, I think I’ve improved the quality and variety of the beers we serve. I’ve also spent considerable effort toward improving safety in the brew room. I’ve introduced a series of events that serve as an introduction to beer and food parings. We had our first event last fall with a beer and cheese tasting, and we’ll continue that this year as well.
We have a really friendly staff that’s like a family, and there’s a lot of love that permeates from the owners to management to the servers and all the way to our customers. Pair that will some great beer and food, and what’s not to be proud of?
4. What do you have coming up that people should know about?
There are a few things that I’m pretty exited about. There is the first beer in our small-batch series, which is a Belgian quadruple called Father Isaac. This beer was inspired by a meeting in Philadelphia I had with the abbot of the Koningshoeven monastery, which is an abbey in the Netherlands that produces the La Trappe line of Trappist beers. They were the inventors of the quadruple style. I was really inspired by our conversation and set out to make a quadruple of my own.
Another thing I’m excited about is after eight months working at the brewery, I’m finally going to make a beer of my own recipe — a saison! We’ll release it this summer. We’re also working on upgrading our glassware and beer service, as well as adding suggested food and beer pairings to our menu.