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“If it’s a pain in the ass, we usually do it,” says Live Oak head brewer Dusan Kwiatkowski. Brewing the hard way has been a core tenet of the brewery since their start in the mid ’90s. While most breweries launched around the time focused on ales (to distinguish themselves from the “macro” beer of the time), Live Oak committed to craft lager from its earliest days. Its Czech-inspired pale lager, Pilz, has been one of their core beers for more than two decades.
Today, Live Oak maintains that focus by pushing lager even further, through the pre-Prohibition-style pils they call Pre-War Pils, and by brewing and advocating for Grodziskie, which they brew as a lager with oak-smoked malt from a small Czech maltster.
In this episode, Kwiatkowski discusses everything from the ways they’ve sourced ingredients for the Grodziskie to the process behind the cereal mash necessary with corn grits in the Pre-War Pils. Along the way, he discusses the impact of smoked malt in recipes, brewing Grodziskie as a lager rather than an ale, polishing pils so that it sparkles in the glass, spunding tanks for proper finishing, and more.
Live Oak is fond of referring to its Austin, Texas, location as “Bamberg on the Colorado,” referencing the German city’s reputation for smoked beer from breweries such as Schlenkerla and Spezial. While smoked beer is a niche in today’s wider beer world, Live Oak’s passion and focus on the approach are second to none.
This episode is brought to you by:
G&D Chillers – As the brewing industry’s premier choice for glycol chilling, G&D Chillers has set the standard on quality, service, reliability and dedication to their customer’s craft. New this year, Redundancy meets Efficiency! G&D’s Micro-Channel Condensers are built with all aluminum construction which eliminates galvanic corrosion. Using half the refrigerant of conventional condensers with fewer brazed connections, translates to a lower GWP and less opportunity for leaks. Call G&D Chillers today to discuss your project or reach out directly at GDChillers.com
This episode is brought to you by Rahr North Star Pils. A new base malt to set your compass by. Rahr North Star Pils is crafted for brewers looking for a domestic pilsner malt with low color and low modification. North Star Pils carries overtones of honey and sweet bread, supported by flavors and aromas of hay and nutty character. Suitable for any beer style, but particularly craft brewed versions of classic lagers. Let Rahr North Star Pils guide your craft by visiting bsgcraftbrewing.com, or contact us at 1.800.374.2739.
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