Podcast Episode 177: St. Elmo’s Bryan Winslow Embraces the “Aha” Moment

For St. Elmo Brewing in Austin, Texas, great beer is as much about what you don’t perceive as what you do. From their crowd-pleasing Kölsch-style ale to hazy IPAs brewed with the same yeast—and even hard seltzers—the goal is seamless integration.

Jamie Bogner Mar 7, 2021 - 5 min read

Podcast Episode 177: St. Elmo’s Bryan Winslow Embraces the “Aha” Moment Primary Image

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In today’s brewing world, big and bold flavors tend to attract drinkers with an an endless thirt for what’s next. But for Austin’s St. Elmo Brewing,, those aren’t the beers that are going to get people coming back week after week to enjoy a sunny afternoon in their beer garden. Instead, they focus on optimizing quality that whispers rather than screams, making beers that don’t need to tell you how great they are. It may take a pint or two for that “aha” moment to happen, but that’s their ultimate goal—for consumers to realize the beer is good without having to focus intently on the beer itself.

With a core Kölsch-style ale whose yeast feed a number of other beers in their lineup (from hazy IPA to kettle sours), they’ve systematically built a production strategy that works for their small, pub-style brewhouse, creating efficiencies but also opening the door to experimentation.

In this episode, Winslow talks about that Kölsch, which they call Carl, and the details that go into it—such as malt selection, the infusion mash, plus the yeast strain and its expression at different temperatures.

The same strain ferments their hazy IPA, and Winslow discusses biotransformation with that yeast, dry hopping at cooler temperatures, how pH affects the hop expression, and more. The conversation finishes on fruited kettle sours and then hard seltzers—a category the brewery has started to embrace, to fulfill its mission to be a destination for groups of varying tastes.

This episode is brought to you by:

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This episode is brought to you by Crisp Scottish Pale Ale Malt. Crisp Scottish Pale Ale Malt is the workhorse of many a brewery and is at home in a variety of beer styles. Crisp sources the lowest-nitrogen spring barley from farmers in Fife up to Moray. During malting, high cast moistures and a balance of optimal germination time and temperature results in an even, well-modified malt with a rich color and balanced sweet, malt flavor which is ideally suited to ale brewing. Visit BSGCraftbrewing.com for more information on Crisp Scottish Pale Ale Malt, or call 1-800-374-2739.

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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. As a part of ABS Commercials on going give back campaign, they will be giving away an ABS Keg Viking Keg Washer in June, so make sure to periodically check the ABS Commercial Facebook page to find out when the contest opens up and how you can enter to win a Keg Viking!"

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