Brewer’s Choice: Fainting Goat

Originally from the heart of the Rust Belt in Ohio, Emmy Smith came to Drake’s with absolutely no experience in brewing, only a thirst to learn the art of beer-making. Like most brewers, she came trained in another industry, having learned the art of cinematography and filmmaking. Emmy started out with Drake’s as a production assistant which means doing grunt work, scrubbing tanks, and mopping floors. While she may not be the most gregarious or outspoken of our brewers, her impact on the brew team has been huge.

Over the course of her nearly three years at Drake’s, Em has risen from the literal bottom of the fermenters to being a senior production brewer on our fancy new 60-bbl brewhouse. Emmy is proud to be showing off a limited release of her Brewer’s Choice creation, Fainting Goat, on Monday, May 1. Talking about herself clearly is not her favorite thing and needless to say, try as we might, at no point were we successful in getting her to refer to herself in the third person…

So what got you into brewing?
I fully blame [Production Manager] DeVonne Buckingham and her partner Brian. Theirs was the first homebrew I’d ever tasted. After meeting through mutual friends and hanging around their passion for making beer, it wasn’t long before I got bitten by the beer bug.

What were you doing before you became a brewer for Drake’s?
I was having my quarter life crisis. I had just left my cinematography gig in LA, sold everything I owned, and hit the road. After driving across the country a few times, I hadn’t planned on staying in the Bay Area, but I met some great people and it worked out really well.

Let’s say you made a movie about Drake’s. What would the theme song be?
Well, I happen to be a bit nerdy about film scores, so it would be an original score byJohn Williams. Because… it’s John Williams. It would be epic and beautiful… just like every day in the brewery!

What was your inspiration for your Brewer’s Choice beer: Fainting Goat?
As a Bavarian born on May Day, I thought it would be a great opportunity to brew a traditional Maibock. It is a more balanced, lower alcohol version of a bock that’s typically drank at the May Day festival to celebrate spring. Bock is also the German word for goat, so I thought the image of those little goats fainting and falling over with their legs stuck up in the air was perfect. If you haven’t seen a video of this, you definitely need to. [If you haven’t seen a video of this, you definitely need to.]

Have you ever fainted?
I have… once, maybe twice. It’s a very strange feeling. Turns out I shouldn’t try to donate blood. I don’t think I had the proper fainting goat form though.

What do you love about goats?
I love how they eat everything and anything. I can identify.

If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
A dingo.

Are there plans for a dingo-themed beer in the future?

When you’re not busy making kickass beer, what would we find you doing?
You’d probably find me cooking elaborate dishes at home or going on adventures with my gigantic fur monster, Ruby. She’s a 70-pound pit bull that thinks she’s a lapdog and is terrified of literally everything.


Catch Emmy’s Fainting Goat on tap, starting Monday, May 1st at Drake’s Barrel House and Drake’s Dealership until it’s gone!