Podcast Episode 167: Adam Robbings of Reuben’s Brews Reflects on the Brewing and Business Impacts of 2020

From West Coast-style IPA to hazy triple IPA and barrel-aged rye barleywine, Robbings discusses how Reuben’s have gone about brewing their more celebrated beers in this challenging year.

Jamie Bogner Jan 1, 2021 - 5 min read

Podcast Episode 167: Adam Robbings of Reuben’s Brews Reflects on the Brewing and Business Impacts of 2020 Primary Image

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Reuben’s Brews’ Adam Robbings has always been a thoughtful and mission-driven brewer, focusing as much on building a business that delivers on the promise of “craft” as he does on brewing compelling beers. That approach has been successful; honors in the past year include medals from the Great American Beer Festival, the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer, and a Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® Beer of the Year.

In this episode, Robbings dives into the theory and practice around popular Reuben’s beers such as the Three Ryes Men barrel-aged rye barleywine and Triple Crush hazy triple IPA. Along the way, he touches on:

  • The growth and importance of “variants”
  • A “no man’s land” of ABV that has developed in the past year
  • The resurgence of interest in West Coast IPA
  • Reuben’s approach to their award-winning Three Ryes Men barleywine
  • How barrel aging impacts finished beer
  • Choosing competition categories for barrel-aged beers based on flavor gestalt rather than production methods
  • Building specialty beers with a consumer focus for drinking occasions
  • Pumpkin beer makes a comeback
  • Scaling recipes to differently sized brewhouses
  • Bench testing new hop crops to gauge changes year over year

And much more, including strategies for competing for medals: “There’s a whole lot of game theory behind competitions,” Robbings says. “It’s not just ‘the best beer wins.’”

This episode is brought to you by:

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ABS Commercial is excited to be a part of today’s Podcast! ABS is a full brewery outfitter offering brewhouses, tanks, keg washers and small parts. ABS wanted to do something fun for the craft beer industry, and gave away an ABS Keg Viking Keg Washer LIVE this past December 7th. Congratulations to Lazy Horse Brewing & Winery in Nebraska who are the new proud owners of a Keg Viking! To make sure you’re on the list for future giveaways, go to www.abs-commercial.com, click on the “Keg Viking” page, and fill out the contact form to stay in the know!

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