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Wolves and People founder Christian DeBenedetti wrote about beer for years as a journalist before taking the leap and founding the brewery on the family farm where he grew up in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. While the brewery is small—they produced fewer than 400 barrels of beer in 2019—they’ve focused on beers that reflect place from the very start.
One of their most active focuses is yeast, and they’ve captured and developed multiple yeast strains from the property—first from a plum tree, and later from the hive of bees that DeBenedetti brought to the farm for honey and pollination as well as yeast cultivation. Here, he discusses the process of capturing then testing and isolating the strains, one of which is now available as a beta yeast from The Yeast Bay.
The next big project involves estate-grown barley, to be planted next year on a plot next to the brewery. He talks about the progress of that program, from variety selection to soil prep, farming strategies, and malting process.
Closing the loop between brewing and agriculture is on many brewers’ minds, and Wolves and People is bringing the two ever closer.
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