Interview with MMA fighter Jim Miller. Fighter and Homebrewer

Exclusive interview


Jim Miller is a title contender moving towards an innevitable shot at the UFC’s (Ultimate Fighting Championship) Lightweight Championship. Not only is Jim one of the world’s most highly rated mixed martial artists he is also a keen homebrewer. After hearing Jim talk about his love of craft beer and homebrewing on Sherdog Radio I just had to hear more about one of my favourite fighters’ past-times. Jim was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about beer and fighting!

 

Homebrewer and submission master

HopZine – Why and when did you start home brewing?
Jim Miller – I started home brewing, with success, in late 2009. I have always enjoyed making things for myself and wanted to use that same approach for my beer and wine. I had given it a shot a few years earlier but I failed miserably. I just jumped right in without really learning what equipment was needed or how to use it. In 2009, I moved into a house with a nice sized basement and finally had the room as well.

HZ – Did you start off brewing all grain or did you use kits or extract/partial mash first?
JM – I brewed about a dozen batches of extract before switching to all grain. I have been thinking of mixing in the occasional extract batch simply for the easier brew day while still making good beer.

HZ – What was last beer you brewed?
JM – The last batch I brewed was a Black IPA. It came out pretty good, but the hop profile was a little off of what I wanted. Still very drinkable though.

Jim Miller battling toward the UFC Lightweight title

HZ – You recently sighted “balance” as being key to both brewing and MMA, What do you think creates a balanced beer?
JM – As much as I love hoppy beers, and I’d love to just dump a pound of hops into each batch, it wouldn’t work out too well in most cases. A beer needs a good malt character to match the hop profile. I am still working on the processes of brewing and fine tuning my equipment at the moment. I haven’t brewed many recipes more than once, so I haven’t quite learned exactly what flavors or characteristics each ingredient imparts on the final product. I do love chinook hops though, and yeast starters are awesome.

Jim Miller in action (and victory) Vs Kamal Shalorus

HZ – After raking up another win in your pursuit of the UFC lightweight title which is your favourite style of beer to celebrate with and which is your favourite brewery?
JM – I wouldn’t same that I have a favorite brewery or even beer style. I like to try anything that I haven’t had before and like a wide variety. Dogfish Head, Sixpoint, Weyerbacher, Great Divide, and Sam Adams are all frequently occupying space in my beer fridge. I do really enjoy APA’s and IPA’s, but sometimes an Imperial Oatmeal Stout just hits the spot.

HZ – How does drinking craft and home brewed beers fit into the lifestyle of a mixed martial artist?
JM – I think it fits in quite well. There are times when I can’t or shouldn’t have a beer, but that’s only in the last few weeks leading up to a fight. Otherwise, it’s like anything else in life, moderation is key.

Some beery pics from Jim’s Twitter feed

HZ – After your MMA career ends would you consider going into brewing full-time or even open your own microbrewery.
JM – I think that would be fun. It would take a lot of work and a lot more practice to get into that though. I know that I would need to get WAY better at brewing on the small scale I’m on now before I could size up as well.

On May 5th Jim Miller will be headlining against Nate Diaz in what is tipped to be a Lightweight number one contenders bout featuring two impressive fighters!

UFC Diaz vs Miller will be live on FOX in the USA and online at UFC.com

For more info on Jim and his brother Dan Miller both top flight MMA fighters CLICK HERE to visit thier official website

and follow him on Twitter @JimMiller_155

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