Minnesota’s Surly Brewing has long cultivated a bold, in-your face brand image, but Surly’s next chapter will be defined by achieving more with less, if head brewer Ben Smith has anything to say about it. From thiol-maximizing yeast in hazy IPAs—achieving bigger flavor with less hops—to refined and softer bitterness in new West Coast–style IPAs, every assumption about how things “should be done” is under consideration.
In this episode, Smith shares what they’ve learned from brewing a new thiol-focused beer with Other Half, and from using thiol-rich Phantasm powder and thiol-centric yeast from Omega Labs. However, it wouldn’t be a proper Surly episode without a discussion of West Coast–style IPA and the ways they’re tweaking and refining the classic approach to find new expression and connection.
In this episode, Smith discusses:
- maximizing their three pillars of quality, consistency, and stability
- achieving more hop flavor with less hops and thiolized yeast
- thinking about bitterness in terms beyond IBU
- hopping methods to achieve flavorful and efficient results
- deconstructing and reconstructing West coast IPA
- managing hop creep at a production scale
This episode is brought to you by:
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