Name and Occupation
Stephen Demczuk, Ph.D. Founder/President of RavenBeer Brewing Company
What was your first exposure to Edgar Allan Poe?
Likely Premature Burial movie when I was a child. The dirt being shoveled on the coffin with a glass window as the buried person witnesses men with shovels placing dirt over the window one shovel at a time.
What is your favorite Poe piece?
It must be The Tell Tale Heart as I love the narration and the reasoning the killer justifies his evil deed as he more than irritated by the pale blue vulture eye. And Eureka where Poe attempts to explain the universe, man and God without supplying any scientific evidence.
How has Poe influenced your outlook professionally?
Pretty obvious, I started Raven Special Lager in Germany in honor of Baltimore’s, at least in body, Mr. Poe. We wanted to use an American theme in Europe. We now have a whole series of beers based after stories and poems by Poe: The Raven Special Lager, The Cask (of Amontillado), The Tell Tale Heart IPA, Pendulum Pilsner, Annabel Lee White, and Dark Usher.
What is your favorite thing about visiting the Edgar Allan Poe House?
Smallness— so tiny, quaint and so appropriate for Poe.
Any other reflections on the role of Poe in Baltimore or in your life?
Poe is everywhere in Baltimore— RavenBeers, Taverns (The Raven, Apropoe Bar, Annabel Lee, The Horse You Came in On), NFL team The Ravens, Lenore Apartments and Raven Apts, Raven Transport, Poe actors, Poe readings, Poe statues and exhibits (e.g. Enoch Pratt Library), Poe Society, Poe Monument and grave site, the Poe Toaster, the Poe House, numerous Poe websites based out of Baltimore,and more. There is more Poe in Baltimore than any other city in the world. Plus, I am working with Alex Zavistovich of the Molotov Theatre (specializes in horror and mystery) in Washington DC to open the Edgar Allan Poe Theatre here in Baltimore.