When actor Wil Wheaton approached Fark.com founder Drew Curtis about doing a "geek" collaboration beer with Stone Brewing's Greg Koch in 2012, they did not have any reason to think it would be anything other than a one-time thing. Although Stone has done and continues to do many collaboration brews, all of them have been one-offs, never to be seen again. All except for one.
W00tstout debuted in July 2013 and was an immediate hit. Three years later the beer and the release party, Hop-Con, have become a summer tradition alongside San Diego Comic-Con. I caught up with Drew Curtis a couple days after this year's festival to talk beer, the awfulness of the Internet and his 2015 run for Kentucky governor.
How involved were you in creating W00tstout?
Greg [Koch] believes you have to actually make the beer to put your name on the bottle so we always make [some]. I came up with the flavor profile, it's essentially derby pie. They've been honing the recipe to figure out how to make a ton of this stuff, the original one wasn't scalable. They cut batch three with a little bit of batch two. With batch four, we're back to the original.
Do you go to Comic-Con when you are in town?
I've never been, it looks like a giant clusterfuck.
What made you decide to run for governor in Kentucky?
Everybody should run for office. Everybody else who runs is a stupid asshole. If normal people don't run for office, only stupid assholes will be running this country. Even if you don't win, if you bring good ideas to the table, the other people will probably copy them.
You run a news website. How has user behavior changed over the last ten years?
On Fark it's not that bad, but the behavior everywhere else is much worse. For some reason Facebook has decided news is a thing to pass around as social currency. Casual news consumers cannot avoid this stuff anymore. I always knew there was a large terrorist attack going on somewhere in the world every couple of days, but then my uncle found out and it's driving him nuts. He thinks the world's gone off the rails. You can't opt out of the news cycle anymore and people who can't cope with it are losing their minds.
You said Fark is not that bad. What have you done to curb bad behavior?
About two years ago we banned misogynistic speech. Not only did it make Fark a nicer place overnight, but it wasn't that hard to do. Twitter has a massive problem with this. Reddit also. The fact they're going to sit on their hands is indefensible. They should grow some balls and show some leadership. Make it stop. But they're afraid it might result in an all-out revolt like what happened at Digg. But they're not going to lose anybody worth keeping.
What Kentucky breweries should San Diegans know about?
There's a brewery called Country Boy, they do all kinds of crazy stuff and it all kind of works. Another one is West Six. They do a collaboration together called Country Western.
Anything else to do in Kentucky?
I'm remarkably easy to get a hold of so if anybody who reads this end up in central Kentucky drop me a line and I'll come out with you. I love meeting new people.