Podcast Episode 243: Wild Fields Share Their Winning Ways in Everything From Brown Ale to Mixed Cultures

At the 2022 World Beer Cup, California’s Wild Fields won four gold medals—a feat no craft brewer had achieved. But those who’ve followed the career of Ryan Fields aren’t entirely surprised—his studious approach has been paying dividends for years.

Jamie Bogner Jun 17, 2022 - 4 min read

Podcast Episode 243: Wild Fields Share Their Winning Ways in Everything From Brown Ale to Mixed Cultures Primary Image

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Winning medals isn’t everything in brewing, but it sure can help. Seeking out that external validation from a panel of peer judges is often more frustrating than it is rewarding, but that’s by design. It’s hard to win, and it should be.

For Ryan and Jacque Fields of Wild Fields Brewhouse, their hyper-focus on improving their odds of winning paid off big at the 2022 World Beer Cup, and the young brewery walked away with four gold medals. In this episode, they share some of the background and philosophy behind their competition strategy, including how they choose categories to enter, and optimizing individual beers to appeal to the widest range of judges.

In addition, the Fieldses discuss:

  • building a family-friendly brewery taproom
  • the ins and outs of American and English-style brown ale
  • malt selection for brown ales
  • optimizing water chemistry to take beers from good to great
  • employing contemporary techniques such as whirlpool hopping in classic styles
  • the approach to making funky wild ales that Fields developed at Beachwood Blendery
  • unlocking the funk with aged hops
  • building a hop-tolerant mixed culture that develops acidity slowly
  • packaging for competitions

And more.

This episode is brought to you by:

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This episode is brought to you by BSG, exclusive distributors of Rahr Malting Co. Since 1847, Rahr malt has been a benchmark of quality and consistency for brewers, from the 19th century through today’s craft beer pioneers. Whether you’re creating classic lagers, resin-clouded hazies, or barrel-aged behemoths, inspired malts like Rahr North Star Pils, Malted Oats, and more are here to make your brewing dreams a reality. Get in touch today at go.bsgcraft.com/Contact-Us

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