Podcast Episode 128: Matt Tarpey of The Veil Will Brew With Anything

The head brewer and cofounder of Virginia’s The Veil Brewing Co. is known for both his hyperfocus on spontaneous lambic-style brewing and for pushing the boundaries of beer with a commitment to experimentation, challenge, and learning.

Jamie Bogner Mar 27, 2020

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The Veil Brewing Company’s Matt Tarpey has never been afraid of risk. From early career moves that took him around New England to brew with some of the country’s more influential brewers, to a stint interning at Cantillon on a trip that was ostensibly also his honeymoon, he has constantly sought out new opportunities to learn, no matter how challenging that might be. In 2015, the itinerant brewer settled down back in his home state of Virginia to launch The Veil Brewing Co., and brought that same spirit of constant learning with him. Today, The Veil isn’t afraid to get weird, while also paying deep respect to tradition—a dramatic tension that isn’t lost on Tarpey. They will use, and have used, just about any ingredient you can think of—both to create exciting experiences for their customers who expect it, and to push themselves as brewers.

In this episode, Tarpey discusses that brewing history and the experience of working with everyone from Tod Mott to Jean Van Roy and Shaun Hill; brewing with non-traditional ingredients like Oreos, Nutella, and activated charcoal; how they learn and experiment and dial in processes around strange ingredients; spontaneous fermentation in an urban setting; the impact of ingredients in wild beers; building a house flavor by blending a single stock of aged hops; letting palates drive the blending ship; using fruit in sour beer; and more.

“Life’s too short to just be serious. We’re focused on everything we do—even the Oreo beers—we’re super focused and constantly tasting and trying to incorporate the character with different ratios. We’re focused on everything that we do, but… it’s balancing the serious and the fun. We love the delicate beers, but we also love the wild and crazy beers.”

Note: Even at an hour-and-a-half run time, this episode is an abridged version of the entire conversation. Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine® subscribers can access the bonus portion of the conversation, where Tarpey discusses the mental anguish of customer feedback, building an approach to lager brewing that isn’t tied to traditional styles, The Veil’s multifaceted approach to brewing IPAs, and more, by clicking here. If you're not a subscriber, join now for access at beerandbrewing.com.”

This episode is brought to you by:

G&D
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Old Orchard supplies craft juice blends from the heart of Beer City USA. As the industry blending experts, they supply major national brands and growing breweries alike. They've been the best-kept juicy secret in craft beverage for years, but now the secret's out. Breweries across the board are experiencing a seamless transition to Old Orchard as their new juice supplier. So hop aboard the Old Orchard fruit train; their sample kit starter pack is waiting for you at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.

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The founders launched Ss Brewtech with a very clear goal to advance brewing equipment design, performance, and quality to the very highest standards in the industry. With a team that draws upon strong functional backgrounds in brewing science, mechanical engineering, industrial design, supply chain, and manufacturing, Ss Brewtech has the people and skill sets you would want and expect from your supplier of pro brewing equipment. Head over to SsBrewtech.com for more information on their brewhouses and brewing gear.

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Fermentis is the obvious choice for beverage fermentation. They’ve provided the beer industry, from large and small breweries to homebrewers, with the best fermentation yeasts since 2003. Their yeasts are easy to use—just pitch your Fermentis yeast directly into your wort, no rehydration necessary. To learn more about how Fermentis can improve the quality of your fermentation, and for the latest on their exciting new product releases, visit Fermentis.com.

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

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