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In this special episode, two breweries that won gold medals at the 2023 Great American Beer Festival discuss the methods and approaches that produced two very different oak-aged beers.
First up is Kyle Vetter, founder of Milwaukee’s 1840 Brewing, whose kriek-inspired I Don’t Want To Wait topped the Fruited Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category. Vetter shares the details on how this beer was made, including:
- using oak as an ingredient, not just a vessel
- building body with alternative grains
- selecting barrel stock to best support fruit
- preparing the fruit and aging the beer more than six months
- selecting Brettanomyces strains
Then, we’re joined by Joel Stickrod and Spencer Longhurst of Nashville’s Barrique. They walk us through the methods behind their Wet Hop Strata 2023, an unconventional winner in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category, including discussion of:
- open-top fermentation in wooden barrels
- why they built a blending library with four schools of wood-aged beer
- using high loads of unmalted Tennessee wheat
- brewing with aged Cascade hops
- long-term aging on wet hops
- building compelling blends of old and young beer
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