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Most brewers launch a brewery with the goal of producing specific types of beers. For Paul Arney of The Ale Apothecary, the founding principle was different—he knew how he wanted to make beer, and the style of beers he would make flowed from that focus on specific process. The result, of course, was “wild” beer with an acid component, but that was less important to Arney than brewing as close to nature as he could. Local ingredients, overnight mashes, no chemical cleaners or sanitizers, and wood vessels wherever possible, are some of the signatures of Arney’s production process that serve his goal of making “Locally-sourced, barrel-aged, natural beer.”
For Arney, the concept of “natural” isn’t a broad excuse for lazy practices. To the contrary, he’s built a time- and work-intensive process to take what he learned from a decade of large-scale production brewing and apply it to this brewing business. Learning from the process has been key for Arney and The Ale Apothecary, and here he discusses everything from the flavor and texture impact of his overnight mash process, corralling wild cultures and staggering pitches to achieve intentional results, the challenges of single-stream brewing in this style and achieving great results without blending, finding joy and success in “mistakes,” working with nature in a push and pull to create good-tasting natural beer, and the changing dynamics in the market for wild and sour beer.
This episode is brought to you by:
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