Podcast Episode 242: Jos Ruffell of Garage Project and Phantasm Muses on New Zealand Hops, Thiol Expression, and Dramatic Festival Experiments

New Zealand’s Garage Project may not be a household name in North America, but between their work with local hop growers, Phantasm powder, and crowd-pleasing fest pours, they’ve built a reputation among peers for creativity and honest experimentation.

Jamie Bogner Jun 10, 2022 - 5 min read

Podcast Episode 242: Jos Ruffell of Garage Project and Phantasm Muses on New Zealand Hops, Thiol Expression, and Dramatic Festival Experiments Primary Image

Jos Ruffel, left, and Pete Gillespie. Photo: Courtesy Garage Project.

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New Zealand’s population is smaller than the state of Colorado, but country’s exports have had an outsized impact on craft beer over the past decade. From hops such as Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, and Riwaka, to the cutting-edge thiol-optimized Phantasm powder, New Zealand has made undeniable contributions to the flavor evolution of American IPA over the past decade.

Jos Ruffell, cofounder of the Wellington-based Garage Project, has had a front seat for his country’s evolution from craft beer follower to craft beer influencer. An avowed geek whose pivotal beer experience involved Pliny the Elder, Ruffell and partner Pete Gillespie founded the brewery with Pete’s brother Ian in 2011. Their goal was to tap into the creative energy they felt from influential independent breweries half a world away.

Today, they’ve become creative drivers, pushing exploration with their local hops, developing new ways of creating signature Southern Hemisphere thiol-driven flavors, and embracing dramatic service strategies in public-facing events.

In this episode, cofounder Jos Ruffell discusses:

  • engaging with ingredients as any chef or brewer should
  • bringing transformational growth to the NZ hop industry through the Hāpi Research center
  • using less glamorous but incredibly important supporting hops in blends
  • maximizing for thiols using a variety of brewing techniques
  • thiol stability and expression in fermentation
  • phantasm powder and the variety of ways to use it in the brewing process
  • the entourage effect between thiols and terpenes
  • the outsized impact of thiol optimization in combination with other hops
  • considering texture and time in beer flavor experience

And more.

This episode is brought to you by:

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Support for this episode comes from Hop Solutions by BSG. The Hop Solutions portfolio is a joint effort between the brewers, hop specialists, and brewing scientists of BSG and the Rahr Technical Center that takes a flavor-first, application-specific approach to hops. Whether you’re seeking biotransformation in a juicy IPA or dialing in a classic West Coast profile, BSG has a Hop Solution for that. Get in touch with the hop nerds at BSG by emailing [email protected] for samples, spots, and contracts.

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