Subscriber Exclusive

Breakout Brewer: Wayfinder

Behind the alluring façade of what appears to be a pious cathedral of traditional lager, discover the dogma-busting heresies of Wayfinder Beer in Portland, Oregon.

Joe Stange Oct 26, 2020 - 13 min read

Breakout Brewer: Wayfinder Primary Image

Wayfinder Brewmaster Kevin Davey. Photo: James Rexroad

Their house yeast is a lager strain. The decoction kettle gets plenty of use. Kräusening and spunding here are routine matters. The walk-in is well stocked in Saaz, Hallertauer, and Tettnanger. They are beloved by local lagerheads for their Bavarian-style helles and Czech-style pils, poured with panache and gorgeous creamy foam from Czech side-pull faucets.

Yep, all the trappings are there—it must be a reverent house of traditional lager orthodoxy.

Get past that façade, though—then behind the curtain—and you’ll find that the narrative takes some turns. One of those side-pulls is pouring a hazy IPA. That decoction kettle is being used for something called “cold IPA”—with the grist of an American malt liquor, it’ll be dosed with lager yeast and later kräusened by a fresh batch of pils or helles wort.

Make & Drink Better Beer

Subscribe today to access all of the premium brewing content available (including this article). With thousands of reviews, our subscribers call it "the perfect beer magazine" and "worth every penny." Your subscription is protected by a 100% money back guarantee.