Dan Blackman is an art director at Tumblr and an independent designer in New York City, known for winning the Art Director's club "Young Guns" award in 2012, redeveloping the Pointer Brand identity, and most recently leading the creative on Dusek's, Punch House, and Thalia Hall destinations in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.
Dan and I were born in the same small Pennsylvania town of Warren, although it would be more than 25 years later when we'd first meet in Chicago working on a Nike project at the same agency. That's when we also figured out that I dated his babysitter — but he probably thought I wouldn't bring that up.
Now living in New York, I've seen Dan get turned on to beer in a big way. Surrounded by an unparalleled culinary world, Dan's palate has grown beyond the Genny Cream Ales and Rolling Rocks of our youth, and is now entering a state of early beer-geekery. And he's having a ton of fun exploring with abandon. Recently, we meet up at Tørst bar in Brooklyn and caught up on his latest beer adventures.
What's your favorite beer style or particular beer?
Most of my adulthood I've kept a fairly round physique from years of indiscriminately drinking all types of beers, like an asshole. The past couple years though, I've been trying to curb my gut (except winter) by keeping my drinking seasonal. Naturally in the Winter I like my stouts and porters. Spring the IPA's, pale ales and bocks come out. Summer I dip into saisons, hefeweizen's, occasionally a cider and a lot of Miller Highlife. Then in the fall (without shame) I try most pumpkin ales and slowly work my way into stouts.
What's in your fridge right now?
Couple Buds, couple Bell's Hopslams, a Troegs Nugget Nectar, and a few Peepers from Main Beer Co.
What was the first beer that clued you in?
Honestly, I'd have to say I was first introduced to microbrews with Magic Hat. I grew up in a crazy small town in Pennsylvania in the 90's. Which meant that when we could get our hands on beers it was typically Natural Ice, Bush, Iron City, Bud Light and if we were really lucky Rolling Rock (yuck). Basically your run-of-the-mill small-town bullshit.
Then by the early 2000's, Magic Hat had made its way down to PA. I guess from there my world opened up to smaller breweries and the wide variety of beer that existed.
What's your most memorable beer moment?
I've been lucky enough to get linked up with a couple of dudes here in Brooklyn who are pretty in-tune and have bottleshare nights. Most of the time when I go over I get introduced to a few new breweries, processes, and hear a couple brew stories. It's been a blast.
Favorite watering hole?
The Owl Farm in Park Slope and here at Tørst in Green Point.
What was your greatest beer hunt? Where's it taken you?
Well, I go through phases and have chased a number of beers. Typically I have pretty good luck and usually get my hands on what I am looking for. There's one beer, however — the past two years I haven't been able to even touch a Westbrook Mexican Cake. I've reached out to the company, friends in Charleston, got onto a bunch of bodega email lists, and still no luck. Please if someone is reading this and has access, send me one!
What's a brewery on your wishlist?
Well, they don't technically have a brewery but I'd would love to meet and spend some time with Mikkel Borg Bjergso from Mikkeller. Seems like a pretty smart dude and I really respect what he's doing with beer.
Bonus: nerdiest thing you've done in beer
Answered questions about beer for a blog.