Although raisin almond beer sounds like a dubious (ok, horrible) idea today, back in 1991 it was the “ah-ha” moment for Confluence Brewing Head Brewer, John Martin. Then a high school student and farm boy from rural Imogene, Iowa, John grew up fascinated with how many things could be made using Iowa’s bountiful grain crops. Grain … alcohol … beer.
John and his high school buddy, Sean McClain, failed to make a drinkable raisin almond beer — but the attempt altered the trajectory of his professional life. This interest lay dormant until John’s Senior year of college, when his beer fascination grew and he started researching how to make drinkable beer. This wasn’t the average college boy’s focus on beer primarily for its alcohol content. John fell in love with the craftsmanship and creativity involved in making beer.
Even John’s wife, Katie, understood his passion and played beer enabler — the newlywed couple picked up supplies for home brewing while on their honeymoon in 1995.
John’s first, quality home-brewed beer was an Octoberfest, which remains his favorite variety today. After years of hobby brewing and in increasingly ardent interest in brewing as a profession — including countless brewery tours and immersion in local and online brewing interest groups — John met fellow home brewer and co-founder Ken Broadhead at a bar (Rock Bottom to be exact) as he had just finished a job interview that would eventually lead him to Iowa from Wichita, KS and helped launched Confluence Brewing in 2012. John left his construction management day-job to pursue Confluence and his passion for beer making full time.
The brewery is itself a confluence of John and Ken’s love for Iowa and craft beer. The result is a microbrewery that shares Iowa’s attributes of honesty, humility, hard work and a sense of humor. Confluence also has Iowa’s knack for being a delightful surprise to those who actually experience it.
Confluence cares about the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into making excellent beer, and knows that excellent beer can bring good friends together.
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