Podcast Episode 320: Sam Zermeño of Brujos Is Casting Liquid Spells

The wandering wizard behind the collaborationist Brujos brand talks about his heavy approach to bold flavor in hazy IPAs.

Jamie Bogner Sep 14, 2023 - 7 min read

Podcast Episode 320: Sam Zermeño of Brujos Is Casting Liquid Spells Primary Image

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Sam Zermeño is the brewer behind Brujos—a nomadic brand that’s given him the opportunity to make some intensely flavored, highly regarded beers with friends and favorite brewers from around the country. Yet behind the acclaim and heavy-metal imagery is a mind of real technical know-how and experience. Previously an R&D brewer at Portland’s Great Notion, his accomplishment there include a GABF gold medal last year for their Feniks grodziskie. Nor was that his first GABF gold; in 2018, he won for a hazy double IPA brewed while at Black Market in Temecula, California. Now, Zermeño is embarking on the next phase of Brujos, taking over a now-closed brewhouse that he’s transforming into a dark church worthy of the heavy brand.

In this episode, he talks about brewing hazy IPA, with glimpses into his process that include:

  • building inefficient grain bills with more wheat and oats than barley
  • brewing with a thick mash, treated gently
  • finishing gravities that pull the most out of heavy hop loads
  • boosting calcium chloride
  • drying out triple IPA for balance
  • managing giant hop loads

And more.

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This episode is brought to you by our friends at BSG. Who invite you to experience one of the newest hops from their Hop Solutions line, HS Grove™. Developed for hop-forward beer styles, HS Grove boasts incredible biotransformation qualities. Giving you the power to transform your next IPA into stone fruit powerhouse. Choose HS Grove™ for West Coast IPA, New England IPA, Double IPA, American pale ale, or any beer style where delicious fresh fruit aromatics are desired. Visit BSGCraftbrewing.com to learn more.

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