Podcast Episode 312: Pure Project’s Winslow Sawyer Brews with Style, Not to Style

Rather than focusing on established beer styles, this San Diego brewery lets inspired ingredients drive the beers they make, with a loose, local, and at times even rustic approach.

Jamie Bogner Jul 17, 2023 - 7 min read

Podcast Episode 312: Pure Project’s Winslow Sawyer Brews with Style, Not to Style Primary Image

Photo: Andrew Smith

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When Winslow Sawyer and his partners launched San Diego’s Pure Project in the middle of the last decade, they weren’t focused on brewing particular styles. Instead, they began with the tenet of building a brewery focused on sustainability, using natural ingredients from small farmers wherever possible, and lowering their environmental impact while also giving back through the One Percent for the Planet program.

IPA wasn’t the initial focus—San Diego already had plenty of great IPAs—but as the hazy IPA trend caught on, Sawyer found a way to explore his love of New Zealand hops despite the constraints that Pure Project placed on themselves—no reverse osmosis, only municipal water built up, not stripped down. They don’t define their hazy IPAs as “New England–style”; they’ve coined the term “murky” instead.

In this episode, Sawyer discusses their approach to a range of beers, from IPAs to pale lagers and even spontaneously fermented, acid-forward beers. Along the way, he covers:

  • consciously choosing single infusion over decoction in their pale lager
  • balancing flavor intensity with drinkability
  • altering their approach to hoppy beers over the years
  • using Mosaic as a base for experimentation with new hops
  • reducing dankness as beers increase in ABV
  • brewing spontaneous beers with wet hops

And more.

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