Two passions motivate me: great music and delicious craft beer. After picking up my first guitar at age 14, I fully immersed myself in the arena of rock ‘n’ roll, honing my craft and writing music. Through the years I learned to play various instruments such as guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and, eventually, taught myself how to sing. Around this time I realized that it was writing that was saving my scholastic career and that I actually enjoyed it. Somewhere midway through high school I also realized I really liked beer…a lot! Mix brews with a musician and you get…a brewsician!
Playing lead guitar for several different area bands such as Baby Blue, Dreamer and Dia Pason, I got to perform all over my hometown area of Northeast Ohio. The rock passion was in full gear. Craft beer really wasn’t a thing just yet and where it did exist, it was called “microbrew.”
I started my writing career doing concert and album reviews, as well as band interviews for U.S. Rocker Magazine based in Akron, Ohio in the early 1990s, landing the cover story two out of the first three months on the beat. Along this journey, I was discovering my love for all things craft beer, “imbibing” as much knowledge as possible. Fueled by music and refreshed with beer, I moved out of the band scene and into the solo performer realm doing two full length album demos in the 1990s entitled “City of Broken Dreams” and “Paradox in Paradise,” playing all parts on both albums. This was the precursor to my first full-length album released in August of 2019, called Rock City. (You can hear Rock City at www.DaveClarkRocks.com.)
Fast forward to 2008 where I took a dive into the beer industry when I became a professional brewer with award-winning brewery Hoppin’ Frog of Akron, Ohio. Along the way, I became a Certified Cicerone, a Master BJCP Judge and a student of all things craft beer. “Beer geek” basically sums it up.
Coming full circle
I re-started my writing career focusing this time mainly on craft beer, writing weekly columns for The New Times of Phoenix and monthly stories on music and craft beer for The Entertainer Magazine. Today, I contribute regularly to acclaimed national magazine Brew Your Own, and have written for Zymurgy, Beer Connoisseur and Beer Advocate among others. Now living in my new hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, I am writing my first book, Phoenix Beer: A History Rising To New Peaks, for Arcadia Publishing. (Editor’s Note: The book was published November 25, 2019).
Performing acoustic shows all over the Metro Phoenix area helped me to re-start my musical journey. It also gives me exposure to all the new, cutting edge beers on the market. When music and beer collide, my two worlds rejoice. When metal legends Megadeth and Unibroue came together to release A Tout Le Monde, it was a living example of the best of both worlds (at least my world). Having the pleasure to interview the masterminds behind the music and the suds (Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and Unibroue Brewmaster Jerry Vietz) is just one example of why being Brewsician is a pretty cool thing to be. Raise a glass, crank the tunes and enjoy. Here’s to ya!