Podcast Episode 147: Resident Culture's Chris Tropeano Has the Straight Dope on Hazy IPA, Berliner, and Craft Lager

For Charlotte, North Carolina's Resident Culture, taste and quality are sacrosanct. No ingredient or process is sacred in the quest to improve.

Jamie Bogner Aug 11, 2020

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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:

G&D
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With nearly 20 years of innovation and experience, Brewmation specializes in electric, steam, and direct fire brew houses, complete cellar solutions, and automated controls for the craft brewing industry. From ½ barrel to 30 barrel systems, Brewmation puts you in control to design a brewery that fits your needs and brewing style. Whether you’re starting a new brewery, upgrading your cellar, or just need some parts to keep you up and running, Brewmation has you covered. Visit them at Brewmation.com to get started.

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ABE Beverage Equipment provides complete brewing and packaging solutions worldwide. Whether you are just starting out or are looking to expand, ABE offers brewhouses, tanks, canning lines and more for small to medium sized brewers. ABE has equipped over one thousand breweries worldwide and has the best customer service in the industry. Call ABE Beverage Equipment at 402-475-BEER or visit ABEequipment.com to learn more. That’s ABEequipment.com for complete brewing and packaging solutions.

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

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