Podcast Episode 222: Good Word’s Todd DiMatteo Goes Big on Little Beers

This suburban Atlanta brewery is on a broader mission to show that low-ABV beers across the style spectrum can be just as exciting as their stronger counterparts.

Jamie Bogner Jan 28, 2022 - 5 min read

Podcast Episode 222: Good Word’s Todd DiMatteo Goes Big on Little Beers Primary Image

Good Word's Todd DiMatteo on the brew deck at Von Trapp in Stowe, Vermont.

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Todd DiMatteo never intended to head up the production side of Good Word Brewing and Public House in Duluth, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. However, after a rocky start with a previous brewer forced him to quickly step up to the brewdeck, he embraced the role with verve. Thankfully, his homebrew experience plus more than a decade serving beer at Atlanta’s legendary Brick Store Pub provided a palate and a point of view—two things that he’s leaned into while further developing Good Word’s beer program.

Small beers are a big deal for DiMatteo. Through collaborations and core brews, he routinely plays across the beer map—from “petite IPA” to Czech-style dark lager and English-style bitter. In this episode, he talks about the challenges and techniques to brewing small beers, including:

  • sharpening critical faculties to focus on constant improvement
  • finding inspiration in source material for beer styles
  • staying respectful of style and naming conventions, in part to keep styles alive and vibrant
  • key points for maximizing character and minimizing detracting notes in small beers
  • the value of decoction in low-ABV beers
  • evaluating ingredients and selecting them for flavor
  • using multiple lager and ale strains while remaining efficient from a production standpoint
  • spunding for natural carbonation

And more.

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