Employee Profile: Ilya Soroka

Ilya1Name: Ilya Leonidovich Soroka

Position: Midwest Sales Manager

Office you work out of: BSG Headquarters Shakopee MN

Where were you born or from:
I was born in Lvov, Western Ukraine and moved to the US in 1992. I come to Minnesota by way of Milwaukee, WI where love for all things beer and cheese was instilled in this Soviet refugee.

What was the first beer that made a big impression on you?
Samuel Smith Taddy Porter was my first dark beer, handed to me by a friend in 1998 (I was totally of age I assure you). I had never tasted anything like it before and my love for porters was ignited that day. Porter is still my favorite style of beer.

What is your favorite hop?
I am a big fan of old world styles of beer so my two favorite hop varieties are Czech Saaz and UK Fuggle. With its earthy, herbal and floral aromas Czech Saaz is what makes the Bohemian pilsner what it is and it happens to be one of my favorite styles of beer. I like brewing British Bitters quite a bit and UK Fuggle always makes an appearance in my attempts at this style, imparting a hint of floral aroma.

What is your favorite beer or beer style?
I love many beer styles and varieties. The beer I buy the most is Deschutes Black Butte Porter but… The last few years I have been on a big sour beer kick and have found that Hanssens Oude Gueuze is one of my favorite continental sours and The Bruery of Orange County CA makes my favorite American sours: Oude Tart, Tart of Darkness and Sour in the Rye.

What is your favorite wine or wine style?
I tend to drink wine exclusively with a meal so I enjoy a glass of Cabernet with a good piece of grilled red meat! I do not however feel comfortable enough with the wine world to have a favorite varietal/vintage/vineyard.

What is your favorite food-beer pairing?
The Pats Tap spring seasonal lavender, crawfish, and andouille angel hair pasta paired with Saison Dupont.

What is your favorite food-wine pairing?
What is heaven you ask? Heaven is a seat at the end of the bar at the Capitol Grill Minneapolis with a medium Filet Oscar and a glass of cab selected by Russ O.

Do you ferment anything else? Beer, wine and some homemade sodas.ilya2

What activities do you enjoy in your free time?
I like to read at home (currently obsessing over Robert Young Pelton and other war time non-fiction), an occasional bike ride around my neighborhood, and exploring the culinary splendor of the Twin Cities with my friends or cooking a good meal for friends. Burning a campfire in my back yard with a glass of scotch in hand. I also love to travel and see live music as is evidenced by my fairly large ticket stub collection. I am up for just about anything as long as it is in good company.

Share a food recipe that pairs well with a certain beer style or wine or Share a homebrew beer/wine/soda recipe:

Serves 2ish

• Large Frying pan (nonstick)
• Wooden Spoon
• Rolling pin or meat tenderizer
• 1.5 Cups red wine (anything will work I prefer merlot or cab)
• 1 cup of roasted salted almonds
• Honey (few table spoons or to taste)
• One large honeycrisp apple
• Vanilla bean ice-cream of your choice. Enough for 4 scoops

1. In the large frying pan, mix the wine and honey.
• The honey goes a long way so start with 2 tablespoons and adjust to taste.
2. Stir with a wooden spoon to homogenize and bring to a light simmer on low heat.
• Stir frequently to prevent burning.
3. While the liquid is heating crush the almonds with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.
4. Peel, cut in half and core the apple. Cut in to 1/8” thick, half-moon shaped slices.
5. As the juice simmers add the apple to the liquid so all the slices are submerged.
6. Poach the apples until they begin to become soft and the liquid is thickened.
7. In 2 serving bowls, scoop 2 scoops of ice-cream each.
8. Add apples and syrup to taste.
9. Garnish with crushed roasted salted almonds to taste.
10. This step is very important, you have to get this right: ENJOY!


Orange Carrot Ginger Soda
(3 gallons)

• 2 Gallons Orange Juice (from oranges or from concentrate)
• 5 lbs. Carrots (tops removed)
• 1 branch* of Ginger (peeled)
• 1/2 Gallon Water
• Juicer
• Funnel (sanitized)
• 3 or 5 gallon soda keg (also sanitized)

1. Place the sanitized funnel in the open keg hatch and position it under your juicer.
2. Juice the oranges, carrots.
3. Juice the ginger and allow the particulate to settle out.
4. Add the ginger juice to the carrot and orange leaving the white sediment behind.
5. A little ginger goes a long way, use a few knobs at first and add more to taste.
6. Top the keg off with water to desired level of consistency and sweetness.
7. Attach the keg lid and purge head space with CO2.
8. Carbonate with CO2 to 3 – 4 volumes.
9. Keep refrigerated at all times to maintain freshness.

Any other things about you:
My first language is Russian and I speak it fluently. I have a family scattered throughout the world. My parents are in Milwaukee but the rest of the family is in Chicago, Richmond, Winnipeg, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ashdod. There is also some very distant family left in Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Along with a love of travel, music and camping I have a couple of guilty pleasures: the occasional video gaming session and binge watching my favorite TV shows (The Wire). I have a cat, his name is Charlie and he has been with me for 11 years since he was 9 weeks old (he is the best!).

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