What’s your name? What do people call you? What do you call yourself?
My name is John Henry Archiable. Most people call me Jack. I call myself “Self”.
How long have you been with Short’s?
I have physically worked at the Short’s production facility since March of 2009. However, in theory I have been working with Joe for a long time. I founded Traverse Brewing Company in 1996 and Joe worked for me as a brewer for a couple years. We became really close during his time there and so he had open access to all of my files for information related to commercial brewing. When Joe was setting up the brewpub in Bellaire, he would often come to me and pick my brain about running a brewpub, and he was always more than welcome to everything and anything I could pass along.
Give us the short story of your life before your Short’s story began.
Before moving to Michigan, I received my undergraduate degree at Ohio University, the oldest university this side of the Appalachians. I studied literature, creative writing, and films for a bit, and did a whole lot of protesting. I then went to the University of Cincinnati for graduate school to receive my Masters in American Literature. I wanted to save the planet when I grew up and still do, work towards world peace and all of that cool stuff.
Which Short’s beer recipe(s) have been inspired by you?
The names Hammer Jack (Scotch Ale) and Happy Jack (Scottish Ale) have been inspired by the fact that I am a “Scotsman”.
Howlin’ Chanski on the other hand was inspired by the fact that I wanted Short’s to brew a Dortmunder. As we often do at Short’s, I went up to Tony Hanson and said, “Hey Tony, we should brew a Dortmunder,” and Tony said, “yeah, ok.” I know, riveting, but that’s all it takes sometimes to get the creative juices flowing. The beer was brewed and I was given the honor of naming it. The day I was given the honor it happened to be Allen Ginsberg’s birthday. Ginsberg was an American poet who vigorously opposed the militarism, materialism, and sexual repression taking place in the United States back in the 1950’s. A leading figure of the Beat Generation, his most famous poem, “Howl“, is credited by many as a driving force that led to much of the nonviolent political activism that rocked the 50’s and 60’s. So that is where “Howl” originated. I then decided that this would also be a good opportunity to show my respect for Charles Bukowski. Bukowski was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer. He frequently wrote himself into many of his own stories under the pen name “Chinaski”. So, there you have it!
What is your favorite Short’s Brew?
The Liberator, hands down.
Which beer style best describes your personality?
Stouts for sure. I was weaned on Guinness and Black Label Beer growing up in Cincinnati. I didn’t have a lot of stout options, but our neighbor had a collection of beers from around the world and when he would let us have one (when it was okay with our parents of course) I had my first Guinness and I loved it.
Who is your favorite musician of all time?
Golly gee. The musician who most inspires me is Van Morrison. He was weaned on stout also. I love his poetry and the first time I heard one of his records, I was like “holy smokes, this guy is talented!” I saw him open up for the Moody Blues and Van was brilliant. I also saw him for
free in Boston at a bar down by the docks, and needless to say we closed down the bar that night.
If you could go back in history who would you invite to the pub? Why?
1. William Shakespeare for his sonnets, poetry, and canon of literature.
2. Daniel Boone for his knowledge of the woods, cool hat, and love of ginseng.
3. Aristophanes for his humor. Also, I think he wore olive branches in his hair.
What happens if Pinocchio says ‘my nose is going to grow now’?
He “nose” he is in trouble…
Any words of wisdom for aspiring brewers?
Clean, clean, clean, and then clean your equipment again!
What’s your favorite thing or idea right now?