Brewer’s Profile: Phil Snyder


Profiled by Ken Carman for

 Sitting in a back room, near the back porch: I could hear birds outside the closed glass door… and even hear them on the recording device I used when I reviewed our conversation days later. This is truly Tennessee countryside.
 The Liz and Phil Snyder estate in White House, Tennessee, gently slopes down to a small creek, then back up to the hill where the hop garden is. I find it odd how you look at grass, a stream, a hop garden, grapes vines: and they seem as if they’re just natural; been there for a long, long time. That’s how I feel about Phil Snyder as a member of Music City Brewers. Phil and the club just seemed to fit together.
 But Phil’s story is more interesting than that. Born in Defiance, Ohio, Phil’s family quickly moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, “when I was just a little tyke,” where his father had taken a job.
 He started with wine and made his first batch in 1969. At a wine convention in DC; about 1980, Phil was staying at a friend’s house who had a fridge full of beer and a six pack of Anchor Steam.
 “I tasted that and I knew I had to start brewing.”
 His first batch was about 1979 or 1980, just after home brewing was made legal.
 “We had a big wine club up in Fort Wayne and I was president of that several

Grapes for Phil's wine
Grapes for Phil’s wine
times. Just on the side some of them were making beer. It wasn’t as popular back then: you couldn’t get any supplies; you had to get Blue Ribbon extract from the grocery store and Red Star Baker’s Yeast. I don’t remember what we used for hops. There were no homebrew shops or places to order supplies.” Continue reading “Brewer’s Profile: Phil Snyder”