Podcast Episode 269: GABF Gold! Deadwords and Wye Hill Talk Winning with Light Lager and Hazy Pale Ale

Two brewers share insights into their gold medal–winning beers: a thiol-focused hazy pale ale and an unconventional American light lager brewed with Vista hops.

Jamie Bogner Oct 25, 2022 - 4 min read

Podcast Episode 269: GABF Gold! Deadwords and Wye Hill Talk Winning with Light Lager and Hazy Pale Ale Primary Image

Competition photo courtesy Brewers Association

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In this special GABF Gold edition of the podcast, Greg Winget of Wye Hill Brewing in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Alex Sarames of Deadwords Brewing in Orlando discuss their specific (and often unconventional) approaches to their respective gold medal–winning beers.

Winget and Wye Hill won gold with Luminous Beings, a hazy pale ale that uses a variety of current techniques to maximize flavor expression. He discusses:

  • brewing with 100 percent craft malt
  • mash-hopping for thiol precursors, character, and as a pH buffer
  • employing an unusually long whirlpool spin and soak cycle
  • fermenting at cooler temps with Cosmic Punch
  • two-stage dry hopping to avoid over-saturation
  • slow and measured transfers
  • the importance of soft water
  • packaging on a very small but low-DO canning line

Meanwhile, Sarames and Deadwords won gold with Bridge, an American light lager with an unusual hop choice. He discusses:

  • selecting Rahr North Star Pils for its light character
  • single-infusion mashing
  • using Vista as the sole hop in the beer
  • 120-minute boils to drive off DMS precursors
  • switching to BSI’s Andechs Lager strain for fermentation
  • using the RO system to strip down and rebuild water
  • maintaining a clean facility

And more!

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