Podcast Episode 275: Brett Taylor of Brooklyn’s Wild East Runs a Brewery, Not a Museum

Opening at the start of the pandemic took Wild East in a different direction than they’d originally planned. Yet focusing on decocted Czech-style lagers and accessible mixed-fermentation beers—along with West coast–style IPA—has earned them loyal fans.

Jamie Bogner Nov 19, 2022 - 5 min read

Podcast Episode 275: Brett Taylor of Brooklyn’s Wild East Runs a Brewery, Not a Museum Primary Image

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Brooklyn’s Wild East is a brewer’s brewery. It’s the kind of place that other local brewers go for a beer when they’re not working. The lagers are exceptional, more characterful than merely crispy, and their best-selling IPA is a West Coast–style iteration—a stark contrast to the hazy, juicy IPAs that make up the bulk of offerings from neighbors Other Half or Finback.

Cofounder and head brewer Brett Taylor has some strong opinions about brewing lagers—decoction isn’t optional, water is very important, and the imperfection of more “rustic” malt offers a tension that makes for more interesting beers. In this episode, Taylor discusses those approaches to lager, as well as their techniques behind West Coast IPA and mixed-fermentation farmhouse-style beers. Along the way, he covers:

  • leaning into Czech-style lagers, partly due to the similarity in water between New York and Pilsen
  • designing a brewhouse with decoction in mind
  • treating lagers gently in every step of the process, to preserve delicate flavors
  • using the same yeast in different ways across the lager program
  • brewing West Coast–style and hazy IPAs with Conan yeast
  • modernizing West Coast–style IPA recipes
  • the challenges of scaling up farmhouse brewing cultures
  • optimizing for light Brett character and gentler acidity in foeder saisons
  • achieving juicy yet dry notes in everything from IPA to mixed-culture beer

And more.

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