Moerlein finds beermaster at local school

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After a nationwide search for a "rock star" brewmaster for his
soon-to-open riverfront brewpub, Greg Hardman discovered his star in
his backyard.

He found him in an unlikely place.

Richard Dube was content to be teaching science at Lloyd Memorial High
School, where he'd worked for the last 10 years. But when he heard
about the search for someone to create the beer experience at the new
Moerlein Lager House, he knew he was the guy.

"Your search is over," he announced in his interview with Hardman, the
CEO of Christian Moerlein Brewing Co.

Indeed it was. Dube will be the point person for all things beer at
the microbrewery and restaurant that's scheduled to open in November
next to the Reds stadium. The $4 million Lager House, with a
microbrewery, restaurant, two beer gardens and room for 1,000 people,
will be a key piece of The Banks riverfront development and something
of a bridge between the glory days of Cincinnati's beer-brewing past
and its future.

In Dube, they found someone who combines an impressive resume in the
world of beermaking and a second career in teaching, with some
endurance running thrown in - something that will be useful to cope
with the long hours involved in starting and running the brewpub.

He'll be doing more than getting his hands sticky fermenting small
batches of full-bodied beers. Dube will also take on a public role to
educate his guests about craft beers and promote the legacy of
Cincinnati brewing that Hardman is resurrecting.

"My vision is to make people appreciate beer the way I do," he says.
"To me, it's going to be the pinnacle of my career."

In his previous life, Dube brewed for Molson and Labatt's, two
well-regarded beers of Canada. In the mid- and late '90s, he helped
Boston Beer Co. grow into the giant of craft brewing that it is today.
He brewed its Samuel Adams beers, both in Boston and at its Cincinnati
brewery, moving here in 1998 when the company bought the former
Hudepohl-Schoenling brewery in Queensgate.

A French Canadian from Quebec (his name is pronounced ree-SHARD
doo-BAY), Dube is a microbiologist by training, and found himself
drawn to brewing before he even graduated from Quebec's Laval

Brewing beer, he says, "is part art, part science."

"When it gets down to recipe formulation and product development,
that's when the art kicks in."

He began his beer career at Molson's breweries in Montreal, overseeing
quality control and training new employees in brewing. He moved to
Labatt's as an apprentice brewer, then in 1993 got a call from Boston
Beer, the company started by former Cincinnatian Jim Koch.

He helped turn the old brewery on Central Parkway into one of Boston
Beer's largest producers, churning out a variety of beer styles.

After more than 20 years of making beer, Dube was ready for a change.
At age 44, Dube found himself lecturing high schoolers on science and
working on a master's in education. Within a couple of years, he was
head of the science department at Lloyd High.

He kept his hand in the brewing world, working as a consultant for the
Chicago-based Siebel Institute of Technology, one of the top centers
of brewing science in the country.

At the Lager House, Dube will cook up seasonal recipes, create food
pairings and train a staff of 200 on the finer points of beer

"He brought an ability to communicate and be a mentor," Hardman said.
"We want our people to be knowledgeable about beer."

On tap is an apprenticeship program. "This person has to be a mentor
to up-and-coming brewers," Hardman said.

Brewing just 5,000 barrels a year will allow him to keep his hands on
the product. "It allows you to play with ingredients," he said. "You
taste the malt; you even taste the yeast."

At age 54, and despite his love for beer, Dube is lean and tanned.
He's a trail runner and dabbles in rugby and hockey. In 2007, he
completed what some consider to be the toughest endurance run, the
Marathon of the Sands. The race is the equivalent of six marathons run
over seven days in the desert of Morocco.

He did it to raise money for research on Alzheimer's, a disease his
mother died from.

He's planning to bicycle to work from his 83-year-old restored home in
Bellevue that he shares with his wife, Danielle, and their two dogs.
They have two grown children, Kim, 28, and Kirk, 24.

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