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From their small outpost in McMinnville, in Oregon wine country, Heater Allen has flown the lager flag for its 14 years of their existence—long before it was “cool.” The father-daughter duo of Rick and Lisa Allen have embraced lager with dogged determination, convincing drinkers of its place in the craft canon, and doing so while growing slowly and organically.
In this episode of the podcast, Lisa Allen goes into detail on their approach to cold fermentation, touching on:
- Her path from wine production to brewing
- Embracing the small influences of lager yeast
- Lager cellaring in a very small brewhouse
- Dialing in yeast process to ensure successful results
- Foregoing diacetyl rests in favor of longer conditioning and more time on yeast
- Achieving the flavors of decoction without the decoction step
- Championing smooth but strong bitterness with first-wort hopping
- Their creative process for creating new beers inspired by European influences
“You make the beer you can with the system that you have,” Allen says. But for Heater Allen, that doesn’t mean accepting what you get. It means evaluating and tweaking every choice along the way, to keep honing their lagers into exactly the beers they want them to be.
This episode is brought to you by:
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