Jeff Sparrow is the author of Wild Brews: Beer Beyond the Influence of Brewers Yeast, as well as a free-lance beer writer. He began homebrewing in 1989, after he returned home from the UK, and found he no longer wanted to drink most of the beers available in the US. After numerous trips overseas, Jeff decided to focus primarily on creating Belgian-inspired beers. Jeff won a silver medal in the American-Belgo category at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival while collaborating with Rock Bottom in Chicago. Most recently, he won a gold medal in the American-Belgo category at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival while collaborating with Haymarket Pub & Brewery in Chicago.
Jeff currently serves on the boards of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and Chicago Beer Society. He organizes numerous events in Chicago, including the Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer every November, the largest event of its kind. Not to be linked solely with Belgian beers, Jeff is also an accomplished cellarman, having worked since 1996 at the Real Ale Festival, and its successor, Day of the Living Ales. Jeff’s overall brewing philosophy is simple: Don’t clone a beer, create one of your own.