Fal Allen

California, United States

How did you get into the beer industry? Why does beer matter to you?

I started as a homebrewer in 1985. I was working at a waterfront bar in Seattle and one day, while I was checking in a couple of cases of Redhook, I had an epiphany: I thought, “Wait a minute, someone gets paid to make Red Hook beer. Maybe I could get paid to make Redhook beer!” So I started visiting the Redhook brewery in the Fremont district and sharing my homebrew with the brewer. I would stop in a couple of times a week and ask him to try the beers with me. Finally, he hired me with the provision that I not bring him any more of my homebrew. For a few years I worked at the brewery during the days and tended bar at night. Rick the brewer was kind to me and rotated me through most of the positions in the brewery. I learned a lot about beer. In 1989, I got a job as a full time brewer at Pike Place Brewery. Then, in 1999, I moved to Anderson Valley Brewing in California, where I am today.

Why do you judge at the World Beer Cup? What does judging at the World Beer Cup mean to you?

I judge the World Beer Cup for a couple of reasons. One, for the opportunity to judge with other people that have a different take on beer than I do. To learn and discuss beer and brewing with these folks and make new friends and partnerships in the brewing world. Second, I like to keep up to date on what is going on in the wide wide world of beer. Being selected to judge the most prestigious beer competition in the world is a great honor. I feel very lucky to be in such esteemed company of great brewers and beer industry people.