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What do you get when Michael Tonsmiere, aka the Mad Fermentationist and author American Sour Beers, joins forces with Scott Janish, author of The New IPA, start a brewery in a Maryland suburb between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.? Pretty much what you’d expect: a brewery that tends to focus on creative expressions in the pale ale and IPA space, as well as progressive approaches to wood-aged, funky, and sour beers. Yet Sapwood Cellars has done much more than just meet expectations over their first four years of existence—they’ve also honed approaches to both of these focuses, while creatively blending the two with smart mash-ups in the liminal space between them.
In this episode, the founders of Sapwood discuss:
- the evolutionary “royal rumble” process behind their mixed-fermentation program
- building intensity of flavor and points of difference for broader experiences
- controlling acidity through processes such as co-pitching Sacch when adding fruit or dry-hopping tart, oak-aged beers
- multi-step fermentations with wine yeast
- employing more potent hops to hold flavor at lower pH levels
- avoiding oxidized hop flavors in sour beer through careful barrel preparation
- aggressive rousing of dry-hopped beers at cold temps
- using hops high in survivable compounds on the hot side
- maximizing thiols with new yeast strains
- finding synergies in hops that produce more than just “generic” tropical flavors
- the problem with Galaxy hops
This episode is brought to you by:
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Is your brewery struggling to source or afford berry ingredients? Historic heatwaves devastated U.S. berry crops, causing supply to dwindle and prices to skyrocket. That’s why brewers are switching over to Old Orchard’s craft concentrate blends, which mimic straight concentrates but at a better price point—and with more reliable supply. Is it any surprise that Old Orchard’s best-sellers are Raspberry and Blackberry flavors? Reclaim your margins and order your craft concentrates at oldorchard.com/brewer
Packaging beer can be a daunting task but buying cans shouldn’t be. American Canning provides packaging supplies at competitive prices in order quantities catered to craft. Think single truckloads and half-height pallets rather than million can minimums. For a smooth packaging experience, also consider their ultra-compact, single operator canning machines. Pricing begins at $25,000 with quick 6-8 week lead times on most equipment. American Canning exists to help share your craft in cans; learn more about their ecosystem of solutions at americancanning.com.
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