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Chris Tropeano, known to friends as “Tropes,” dislikes more of his beer than he likes. It’s not that it’s not good beer, but as the head brewer for Resident Culture, he can't not focus on the small things that he should have done better. There are always things to improve, or tweaks that could produce a more characterful or cohesive beer. It’s that constant focus on improvement that has helped catapult Resident Culture to a respected position among fellow Southeastern craft brewers over their relatively short three years of existence.
In this episode, Tropes discusses honestly evaluating beer, fixing the problems that often arise when brewing hazy IPAs, dealing with harsh hops astringency from high hopping loads, building brewhouse and cellar processes to deal with variances in hops quality, structuring hazy IPAs with edgy notes for contrast, and managing “hop stank.”
“The cool dry hop works really well if you have great hops and you’re sure that they’re going to produce a really good beer,” he says. “But if you’re ever unsure, we’ve found that a little active fermentation dry hopping can really transform hops that might not really speak to you out of the bag. It’s an insurance policy on hops that you’re not 100 percent on.”
The conversation turns to traditional Berliner weisse, as Tropes explains their mixed culture approach to Berliner and the benefits—like incredible head retention—along with ways they speed up and pump the brakes on developing acidity. Later, the conversation turns to lagers, and he shares the ways their processes have evolved from spunding to kräusening, along with the way they’ve incorporated seasonally available malts into their lagers for the best possible flavor.
This episode is brought to you by:
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