Podcast Episode 184: Annie Johnson Embraces the Homebrewer’s Sense of Exploration

Annie Johnson has worked professionally in brewing, but she never gave up homebrewing or enjoying the adventure that comes with it—from reverse-engineering historical recipes to improving her brewing by becoming a beer judge.

Jamie Bogner Apr 26, 2021 - 6 min read

Podcast Episode 184: Annie Johnson Embraces the Homebrewer’s Sense of Exploration Primary Image

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“I always figured if the professional killed the spirit to do it at home, then I would never do it professionally, but luckily that didn’t happen.”

Annie Johnson loves homebrewing. The award-winning homebrewer has worked professionally in brewing, but despite turning her passion into a career, she never gave up that sense of creative fulfillment and excitement that comes with each new batch. The self-described “snob” may refer to herself as the “queen of decoction,” but she’s also quick to embrace time-saving methods such as brewing with malt extract.

Learning is a constant for Johnson (who also shares her expertise as a contributing writer for Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®). Whether it’s unlocking the key to historical brewing problems through a process of reverse-engineering, or exploring the flavor and color impacts of wild and foraged ingredients, she’s always following an idea or chasing a particular flavor memory in her brewing projects.

In this episode, she discusses:

  • Conceiving beers with a special-ingredient-first approach
  • Brewing with foraged ingredients and herbs such as bay leaf, nettles, and mushrooms
  • Building subtlety and restraint into ingredient-forward beers
  • Achieving positive effects with ingredients by adding at high kräusen
  • Taking a cautious approach to toxicity in foraged ingredients
  • Adhering to traditional methods for traditional beers
  • Considering visual impact in recipe design
  • How the process of studying to become a beer judge improved her brewing

An inspirational voice in the world of brewing, Johnson serves as a great reminder to all of us that success in brewing isn’t about scale or profit, it’s about passion and personal fulfillment.

This episode is brought to you by:

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