A Brewer Profile of Summit Brewing Company’s Mike Lundell
By Joe Alton
Name: Mike Lundell
Hometown: Cannon Falls, MN
Works at: Summit Brewing Company, Saint Paul, MN
Turn-ons: Smiling, mischievous eyes and a sense of adventure
Turn-offs: ‘I don’t drink beer’ types and video gamer haters.
Growler: What’s in your fridge right now?
Mike Lundell: Some various Unchained beers, Saga, and some homebrews from Sean, my curling team skip.
G: What’s your favorite music to brew to?
ML: Listen to the Current when I brew. Transmission at 10 pm helps Thursday nights go by quickly, and Ricky Martin when I need to dance.
G: What keeps you inspired?
ML: Bill Walton, journeyman NBA center, when asked “What’s your favorite Grateful Dead song?” would answer “the next one.” That kind of sums it up for me in a lot of ways. The next one is what inspires me.
G: What would you be doing (professionally) if you weren’t brewing?
ML: I would probably be running a scuba diving shop in the Caribbean.
G: Where is your favorite place to put one back?*
ML: Locally, the Muddy Pig. Abroad, Carlito’s in Freising, Bavaria. And the best bar on the planet, The Green Parrot in Key West.*
G: What is biggest misconception about your line of work?
ML: A lot of people think being a brewer is easy and glamorous and that is far from the truth. It’s a messy job at times and you have to be able to work long hours on your feet in a pretty hot and humid environment. Sweat drenched underwear. That’s the life for me! And it better be for you if you want to get into it!
G: When did you discover craft beer?
ML: Back in the late 80’s I was drinking imports like Paulaner Oktoberfest so it was easy to move to James Page and Summit. I was a porter fanatic by 1990!
G: When did you decide you wanted to brew professionally?
ML: I was managing a scuba diving shop in Burnsville when I heard Summit would be building a new brewery and would be hiring. I had been homebrewing a bit by this time so I decided to make the leap. October, 1996 I quit my salaried manager job so I could make 8 bucks an hour working 15 hours a week on the Summit bottling line. Best career move ever.
* Editor’s Note: Due to an editing error in the print publication, the corrected question and answer is listed here from issue four of The Growler magazine’s print publication.