The Alchemist co-founder & brewer, John Kimmich, Part 1 (Ep.6)

With Heady Topper, John Kimmich created one of the most sought-after craft beers in the world, and effectively created the profile of the modern IPA. In Part 1 of this tour-de-force of a conversation, I spoke with John about his path to opening The Alchemist with his wife, Jen, in 2003; the business — and current landscape — of craft beer; his advice on opening a brewery; what distinguishes great beer from mediocre beer; and more.

Buckle up for this one, folks, and you definitely don’t want to miss Part 2.


  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2:42)
  • John’s Beer Background (4:50)
  • The Effects of Prohibition (18:52)
  • Mediocre Beer (22:42)
  • Current Landscape of Craft Beer (25:42)
  • Being Fortunate vs Being Lucky (34:28)
  • Opening The Alchemist (39:23)
  • Why the name, ‘The Alchemist’ (44:59)
  • Skiing / Snowboarding (51:45)
  • Why Vermont? (52:55)
  • Heady Topper & It’s Origins (55:39)
  • Advice on Opening a Brewery? (1:03:13)
  • Great Beer vs. Mediocre Beer (1:05:25)
  • Bitterness vs. Astringency (1:11:44)
  • Today’s Hazy IPAs (1:18:21)



3 comments on “The Alchemist co-founder & brewer, John Kimmich, Part 1 (Ep.6)”

  1. One of the best of all of the family of Blister podcasts. Nice job forging your own path, John!

    – Dave Dubuque
    Spokane, WA
    Likes Wanderlust by Breakside Brewery
    Will look around for Alchemist beers

  2. i haven’t listened yet – but very happy you made it out East and hopefully you had a few double ipas – maybe wait for the snow and bring your skis next time? there are a couple of good spots out that way……

  3. Great episode. Looking forward to part two. Look me up the next time you’re in New England. Ski season is right around the corner. We’ll be spending a lot of time in the VT mountains this winter. Challenge accepted on experiencing the difference between bitter and astringent. If you find yourself in Boston I’ll take you down to a local brewery in the South Shore. They only sell via their location, no retail and the owner is from the town I live in. I’m not beer expert but this one is very good in my humble opinion. Of course I’ve also had The Alchemist and it’s a great brewery. Thanks for starting Crafted. Skiing and beer are both areas I’m pleased to see Blister cover. Thank you!! Jason

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