Podcast Episode 111: Peter Bouckaert on Brewing with Wood, Creativity, and New Belgium's Sale to Kirin | Craft Beer & Brewing

Podcast Episode 111: Peter Bouckaert on Brewing with Wood, Creativity, and New Belgium's Sale to Kirin

Stints at Rodenbach and New Belgium solidified Peter Bouckaert's love of wood and experimentation. Now focusing on small-scale experiments at Purpose, he’s doubling down on creative ingredients, processes, and beer design.

Jamie Bogner a month ago


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You’d be hard-pressed to find a more bombastic, opinionated brewer than Purpose Brewing & Cellars’ Peter Bouckaert. But with decades of experience in both Europe and the United States, leading the brewhouse for iconic breweries, he’s earned the right to speak his mind. In this episode, he shares thoughts on a range of technical brewing subjects, such as using wood as a spice, malt biotransformation, using yeast to unlock the flavors of ingredients, his decision process behind ingredients, toxicology screening, and more. But the conversation really heats up when Bouckaert hops on his soapbox and delves into the philosophy behind brewing, from style constrictions to inspiration from the culinary world and the ways brewing is far superior in a creative sense to winemaking or distilling.

“I love the brewing process and think we should treat [brewing] as more important than any winery,” says Bouckaert. “Opus One? That’s a joke. That’s a marketing ploy. Compared to Purpose? There’s way more happening here, flavor-wise.”

Throughout, Bouckaert remains committed to the new. Moving things forward, trying new ingredients and processes, and building a better, higher touch experience for beer consumers. In this episode, he discusses the hows and whys of this different approach.

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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].