Employee Profile: Juno Choi

hop-pile-profileName: Juno Choi

Position: Marketing Manager for BSG HandCraft

Office you work out of: BSG Headquarters out of Shakopee, MN

Where were you born: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Yes, I like cheese, brats, and the Green Bay Packers.

What was the first beer that made a big impression on you? Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. That was the first beer where a particular ingredient, hops, really stood out for me.  

What is your favorite hop? Centennial or Hallertau Mittelfrüh. Centennial is a great hop that to me showcases great citrus/grapefruit notes. I always likened it to being the ‘big brother’ of the Cascade hop. Crack open a Bell’s Two Hearted and tell me Centennials aren’t great. I don’t have much to say about Hallertau Mittelfrüh that hasn’t been said already. Such a versatile hop and a staple in my lager brewing.  

What is your favorite beer or beer style? All of them! Just kidding. I’m a big fan of sour beers, in particular to a few American breweries like Russian River, Crooked Stave and Cascade Brewing. For imported sours, Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen, are some favorite breweries. In terms of brewing, one of my favorite styles to brew are stouts, especially oatmeal stout and Russian imperial stouts.  

What is your favorite food-beer pairing? I’d probably say Pad Thai and Pilsner. Spicy Pad Thai that is!

What activities do you enjoy in your free time? I love to cook and have been delving into Korean dishes lately. Who wants some kimchi? I also recently acquired a Big Green Egg and have been trying to smoke as many ribs as I can before the snow falls (which might be soon, I live in Minnesota after all). As for sports, the only thing I am able to get around to these days is disc golf and the occasional round of regular golf. Grip it and rip it!

Share a food recipe that pairs well with a certain beer style: Since I have been doing ribs lately, here’s a recipe for a dry rub for your ribs (works great for other meats as well).

Ribs, my favorite!

Juno’s Rib Rub-a-Dub-Dub

Ingredients (makes about 2 cups)
1/2 cup paprika (smoked Spanish is preferred)
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup cayenne
3 tablespoons salt (kosher salt is what I use)
3 tablespoons black pepper (fresh ground, of course)
3 tablespoons dark dried malt extract (no dme? use good old brown sugar)
3 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons cumin

Combine all the ingredients into a large Ziplock bag or Tupperware container and shake to mix spices evenly. Store in an airtight container.

Any other things about you: While I am a homebrewer at heart for the past 15 years, I do like to make wine, mead and cider as well. I’m a Certified Beer Judge through the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and a Certified Cicerone through the Cicerone Certification Program. Another beer related passion is beer festivals. I have organized beer festivals for the past 6 years with events like St. Paul Summer Beer Fest and Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest. One thing about beer festivals, it is much better to be an attendee than an organizer. You get to enjoy much more beer. :)

Juno Choi

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