June 19, 2013
Darrek Smith used to sneak into Horsefeathers at age 16 to play pool. Eleven years later, he works one floor below, as the Big Horse brewer.
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Darrek Smith is the youngest brewer in any of the county’s five commercial breweries, and he works in the oldest, and smallest, ale house. Smith’s story is a unique one, even in the diverse field of ale authors in our midst. He works alone in a four-barrel system that expanded to six tanks last year from the original four installed by his boss, Randy Orzeck, who was the first Big Horse brewer. In a brewing tradition seen all over Europe, he is handcrafting beers one floor below the pub where it is served. Big Horse has this in common with Full Sail and Solera, where pub areas also are located directly above the tanks.