Podcast Episode 124: Tony Lawrence of Boneyard on Balance, Hops Selection, and Resisting Consumer Whims to Stick with What Works

Tony Lawrence, founder and brewer at Boneyard Beer in Bend, Oregon, talks about the importance of balance in IPAs, as well as his brewery's approach to fermenting, dry hopping, and sticking with what they like to brew and drink.

Jamie Bogner Feb 28, 2020

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Tony Lawrence, founder and brewer at Boneyard Beer in Bend, Oregon, has had a distinguished career—from his start at early-days Deschutes to the cobbled-together brewery he launched in 2010. Even in the past decade since Boneyard opened, the industry and market have swollen and mutated, but Lawrence and his team have stuck with what they know and like, eschewing the idea that they need to keep growing, being content at their size and trusting in their tried-and-true methods.

In this podcast, Lawrence discusses the Boneyard approach to brewing, including prizing clean and balanced flavor, and not necessarily chasing the shifting winds of consumer tastes. Citing their highly regarded flagship, RPM IPA, he talks about carefully balancing malt sweetness with dryness and hop-bitterness, selecting hops for aroma and to buffer for changes in the crop from year to year, experimenting with different hop formats, and their approach to dry hopping (and double dry hopping). He also talks about assembling their award-winning, labor-of-love, foeder-aged and blended lambic-style and Flemish-style beers.

“It’s been fun the whole time, but it’s even becoming more fun for us right now,” Lawrence says. “This may not be the most wise thing to say on the radio, but I feel like I’m being more of a brewer right now than I have been in years.”

This episode is brought to you by:

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Out of the west a storm surprised, swept down on Captain Pabst,
That mariner and gentleman, his actions swift and fast,
He sailed the seabird against the throes, routing twain wind and fear,
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Pabst’s intuition proved him right, and bore a friendly coast,
The mighty seabird crashed aground, and to that we raise a toast,
For while the seabird indeed was lost, safe were kin and crew,
And without this mighty ship to steer, Captain Pabst... began to brew.
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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].

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