Podcast Episode 192: Burke-Gilman Brewing is Your Friendly Neighborhood Alpha King Winner

Cofounder Kenneth Trease, head brewer Phil Pesheck, and brewer Julia Astrid Davis of Seattle’s Burke-Gilman discuss their calculated approach to hoppy beers, and how they extend their welcome by brewing and embracing diverse styles.

Jamie Bogner Jun 18, 2021 - 6 min read

Podcast Episode 192: Burke-Gilman Brewing is Your Friendly Neighborhood Alpha King Winner Primary Image

Photo: Jamie Bogner

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“I’m anti-consistency,” says head brewer Phil Pesheck. “If you’re pro-consistency, you’re anti-advancement. I want to continuously improve the beer, batch after batch.”

Improve they have, and Seattle’s Burke-Gilman Brewing pulled off quite a feat in 2020 with a win at the Alpha King Challenge and a gold medal in the juicy/hazy IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival. It was a bold statement for a new brewery that had won no major awards before, but it wasn’t just luck—Pesheck was focused on winning, and the brewery supported his fanatical, R&D-driven approach.

In this episode of the podcast, cofounder Kenneth Trease, Pesheck, and brewer Julia Astrid Davis discuss the individual and collaborative ways this very small, taproom-focused brewery has made a big splash with hoppy beers:

  • Going “full send” on competition entry beers
  • Visualizing hop combinations, and exploring the small ways to drive maximum impact
  • Optimizing the flavor of bitterness
  • Maximizing yield despite excessive hop loads
  • Fermenting and dry-hopping approaches for enticing aroma
  • Hops that work as “stars,” and those that boost the performance of other hops
  • Getting great results with spot hops
  • Taking an iterative, taste-driven approach to dry hopping rather than following a set regimen

And more.

IPA isn’t the only thing Burke-Gilman brews, however. The tagline on their website reads, “IPA in the streets, lager in the sheets,” and the conversation concludes with discussion of their lager program and practices.
Pictured, from left: Davis, Trease, and Pesheck.

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].