Podcast Episode 335: For Tom Beckmann of Goldfinger, Lager is a Family Affair

Through fastidious technique and a clearly articulated, creative point of view, this lager-centric brewery in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago is committed to building on a family brewing history while forging its own modern lager identity.

Jamie Bogner Dec 15, 2023 - 6 min read

Podcast Episode 335: For Tom Beckmann of Goldfinger, Lager is a Family Affair Primary Image

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Past isn’t necessarily prologue for today’s lager brewers, but it certainly is at Goldfinger Brewing in Downers Grove, Illinois. A family history of brewing lager and manufacturing equipment for brewers in Poland and Czechia was just the kick that Tom Beckmann needed to pursue his dream of building a small, contemporary, lager-focused brewery. Now, as the brewery undertakes its next expansion, Beckmann is committed to widening the lager discourse, to showcasing the potential of both European and domestic ingredients in lager brewing, and to embracing flavor and character across a range of different lager styles. In this episode, Beckmann discusses:

  • building on his family brewing history in Poland and Czechia
  • designing and constructing a brewhouse for lager brewing
  • step-mashing and decoction strategies for various pale lagers
  • using sterile air rather than pure oxygen to reduce yeast stress
  • cereal cooking vs. gelatinized adjuncts for certain lagers
  • blending domestic and imported pils malt for the best flavor, performance, and price
  • the tactile experience of different malts
  • selecting Tettnanger hops for pils and Hallertauer Mittlefrüh for helles
  • the fundamentals of Polish pils
  • the American Zoigl project in conjunction with Live Oak, Urban Chestnut, and others

And more.

This episode is brought to you by:

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