Podcast Episode 103: Harrison McCabe of Beachwood Blendery

Beachwood has built a world-class sour, wild, and spontaneous beer program by controlling environmental factors and carefully selecting for desired character in their prevailing house culture.

Jamie Bogner Oct 5, 2019 - 4 min read

Podcast Episode 103: Harrison McCabe of Beachwood Blendery Primary Image

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When Long Beach, California's Beachwood Brewing set out to create a wild and sour beer program years ago, they did it with an intentionality one would expect from a brewery that has racked up so many accolades over the years. In this episode, Beachwood Blendery head brewer and blender Harrison McCabe walks through the various ways they've controlled environmental factors in the brewhouse for optimal spontaneous brewing in the non-traditional climate of Southern California, while maintaining parallel programs producing both spontaneous and pitched culture sour and wild beer. To McCabe, the key is using hops, temperature, and mash to slow the lactic acid production process, allowing for more characteristic funk to develop before acidity completely takes over. He talks about how they've embraced a single infusion high-temperature mash, bumped up the amounts of aged hops, and carefully created "seasons" in the barrel warehouse through temperatre control, before discussing everything from blending to fruiting process. Great wild, sour, and spontaneous beer can be made anywhere—it's just a matter of creating a process and environment that favors great flavors.

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