Podcast Episode 326: GABF Gold! Saison Mega-Episode with Ratio and Protagonist on Traditional and Carrot-Infused Saison

Jason zumBrunnen of Ratio Beerworks and Jeremy Claeys of Protagonist discuss their respective 2023 GABF gold medal–winning saisons, from Protagonist’s classical take to Ratio’s carrot- and elderflower-infused rendition.

Jamie Bogner Oct 23, 2023 - 7 min read

Podcast Episode 326: GABF Gold! Saison Mega-Episode with Ratio and Protagonist on Traditional and Carrot-Infused Saison Primary Image

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In this GABF Gold! episode, we dive deeply into saison.

First up is Jason zumBrunnen, cofounder of Denver’s Ratio Beerworks, recent gold medal–winner for their King of Carrot Flowers. Notably, they also won silver in 2020 for their Citra-hopped saison Dear You—the beer upon which King of Carrot Flowers is based. He dives into their thinking and process on these beers, including:

  • building body despite fermenting with diastatic saison yeast
  • single-infusion mashing in saison
  • the particulars of using carrot juice, including processing, addition timing, and maintaining color and haze
  • the secret ingredient that promotes the idea of sweetness in a very dry beer

Next up is Jeremy Claeys, head brewer at Protagonist in Charlotte, North Carolina. They won gold for Kal-El, a more classically inspired saison, continuing an impressive streak of winning gold with different saisons—including gold in 2021 for Air is Beautiful, and again in 2022 for their dry-hopped Bizarro. In this episode, Claeys discusses:

  • their philosophy of brewing classic styles with small twists that make traditional beers their own
  • building character through grain
  • simplified step-mashing
  • the benefits of high-temperature fermentation
  • blending saison yeasts
  • bottle-conditioning
  • lagering both bottled and kegged saison for a cleaner, smoother beer

And more.

This episode is brought to you by:

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This episode is brought to you by Yakima Chief Hops. The 7th Annual Pink Boots Blend is now available for pre-order! $3 of every pound of the Pink Boots Blend purchased will be donated to the Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit organization that support women and non-binary individuals in the fermented and alcoholic industry through education. Place your orders from Yakima Chief Hops and secure your volume of this limited blend for your Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day on March 8th, International Women’s Day. Learn more at www.yakimachief.com/pink-boots-blend

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