The Proust Questionnaire is a famous questionnaire about one’s personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses once given by the French writer Marcel Proust. Ben’s Beer Blog has co-opted this format in order to provide a revealing look at people making beer and working in the beer industry in Ontario. As such, I’ve renamed it The Proost Questionnaire, since “proost” is the Dutch word for cheers. Clever right?
Siobhan McPherson brews beer at the Toronto brew pub and music hall, Burdock. She previously worked at the considerably larger breweries, Mill Street and Amsterdam. She reveals her weakness for horse tartare and how she misses an ’85 Chevy.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A warm partially sunny day on the sea with a garden near by and a never ending supply of bread and cheese and charcuterie and beer and wine. I guess you could throw in a few friends and lovers and a dog and a horse and a cat.
What is your greatest fear?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Doing all the things I want to do.
What is your favorite occupation?
Brewing. Designing equipment, creating recipes and techniques, and constantly learning.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
The witch in the village during the dark ages.
Which living person do you most admire?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
When I give in to Netflix and slothfulness.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Laziness and entitlement.
What is your greatest extravagance?
The horse tartare at La Pallette
What is your favorite journey?
Road tripping the pacific coast Highway 1 from Vancouver to Mexico.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
To avoid awkward departures.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My misbehaving facial expressions, always giving me away or communicating the wrong thing,
What is your greatest regret?
Scrapping my ’85 chevy full size high top that was my home at the time.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
When and where were you happiest?
Here and now.
Which talent would you most like to have?
What is your current state of mind?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would slow down and consider more deeply.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A flake of snow.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
What is your most treasured possession?
My collection of animal skulls.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Humility and freedom.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Humility and freedom.
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favorite writers?
Austin, the Brontës, Bulgakov, Conrad, Rhys, Miller, Carroll, Flaubert.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
What is your motto?
Better to burn out than to fade away.