Podcast Episode 227: Tom Jacobs of Antidoot Is Searching For Simplicity

The philosopher-brewer expounds on not conforming to preconceptions of style, staying small to protect their creative vision, and using a full range of herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables to find that signature Antidoot aroma and flavor.

Jamie Bogner , Joe Stange Feb 25, 2022 - 6 min read

Podcast Episode 227: Tom Jacobs of Antidoot Is Searching For Simplicity Primary Image

Photo: Jamie Bogner

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Antidoot’s Tom Jacobs didn’t set out with the goal of launching a brewery. It was more a natural outgrowth of his and his brother’s homebrewing, which grew too large to remain just a hobby. Still, Jacobs pursues every one of the small batches they brew with the exploratory zeal that informed their homebrewing days.

The brewery and batches are small, intentionally, for two reasons. First, Jacobs is not willing to compromise their creative vision to achieve the scale necessary for a larger corporate entity. Second, they prefer to use the fruit and herbs from their own trees, grapevines, orchard, and gardens—something only viable at their minuscule size.

Despite their self-imposed guardrails, Antidoot forgoes other mainstream brewing conventions such as style categories because, as Jacobs says, “It’s hard for people to appreciate things without a concept, but if you give them a concept, they judge against the concept.” Moving beyond preconceived notions of what a beer should be, and encouraging drinkers to approach the beer on its own terms, with an open mind, is Antidoot’s raison d’être.

In this episode, Jacobs discusses:

  • building a self-sufficient, agriculture-driven lifestyle with a seasonal approach to brewing and growing
  • finding a brewing mode between ester-forward Belgian beers and too-acidic sour beers
  • foregoing the one-dimensional term “sour”
  • blending acidity with bitterness
  • using diverse herbs for bittering, such as gentian and wormwood
  • selecting for wild Saccharomyces over Brettanomyces to preserve terroir flavors and nuance
  • brewing wild cider without losing apple character

And more.

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