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For cofounders Michael Messenie and Tim Lee, the idea behind Dutchess Ales in Wassaic, New York, was to recreate the kinds of cask-conditioned ale they loved when living in Britain. If you’ve enjoyed a proper pint of cask ale in New York City in recent years, there’s a good chance it came from Dutchess.
Today, the brewery is branching out, brewing beer for distribution at a host brewery on Long Island, and even making forays into lagers (such as Ketzer Helles, which scored a 98/100 with our blind panel). But their first love is, and always will be, cask ale.
These are no historical reenactors. Messenie blends just a touch of inspiration from his Southern California roots with this British focus, resulting in beers that aren’t slavish renditions but exhibit a flash of personality (within proper context). That same fusion with a heavy dose of tradition informs newer beers such as GB Pale Ale, where seven malts and a copitched blend of three yeast strains lends it notes of past and present.
In this episode, Messenie discusses:
- Cask ale roots, history, and inspiration
- How pale ale speaks in a more compelling way than IPA
- Brewing GB Pale Ale with blended yeast and an evolving malt bill
- Tilting pub ales toward a drier finish
- Blending malts to build character
- Finding interesting notes in lesser-known English hops
- Working collaboratively through contract brewing
This episode is brought to you by:
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