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This week’s episode is a panel discussion on lager brewing, recorded in front of a live audience late one night on the patio of Cerveza Fauna after a full day of judging for the Copa Baja beer festival in Mexicali, Mexico, in late 2023. Joining the discussion are three prominent lager brewers—Ashleigh Carter of Denver’s Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Ryan Brooks of San Diego’s SouthNorte, and Jeff Bagby (who, earlier this week announced that he was joining Green Cheek Beer as they acquire Bagby’s brewery in Oceanside, California).
The location in Mexico provides the perfect backdrop for diving into Mexican, Mexican-style, and adjunct lagers, and the discussion also focuses on dark lagers. Along the way, they cover creative and technical points such as:
- the challenge of brewing great lager in smaller batch sizes
- understanding other brewers’ commercial approaches through lab analysis
- priorities for gear and process
- techniques for brewing better lager on systems designed for single-infusion ale
- understanding the impact of water on lager brewing
- selecting yeast for Mexican-style lager
- approaches to natural carbonation
- brewing with corn via cereal mash versus pre-gelatinized products
- making specialty beer with popcorn
- clever approaches to building color without intense dark malt flavor
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