Podcast Episode 345: Arizona Wilderness Explores Terroir Through Mobile Coolships, Regenerative Local Grain, and More

Head brewer Brad Miles and wood cellar manager Nick Pauley discuss the ways this Gilbert, Arizona, brewpub builds a regional approach to flavor in everything from saison and spontaneous beer to lager, while providing crucial support for the agricultural side of beer.

Jamie Bogner Feb 16, 2024 - 6 min read

Podcast Episode 345: Arizona Wilderness Explores Terroir Through Mobile Coolships, Regenerative Local Grain, and More Primary Image

Brad Miles and Nick Pauley. Photo: Jamie Bogner

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Last year, Arizona Wilderness’ beet-centered saison Jitterbug Perfume scored a perfect 100 with our blind-review judges and went on to nab a spot in our Best 20 Beers in 2023. In this episode, head brewer Brad Miles and wood-cellar manager Nick Pauley dissect that particular beer, from the blend of wood-aged saisons that form the base to how they roast and process the beets and the particular fruit-juice and spice additions that round it out. They also discuss the Arizona Wilderness approach to spontaneous brewing, using a mobile coolship and wort that they drive out to cooler, higher elevations in the wintertime to capture wild microflora.

Along the way, they touch on:

  • building a spontaneous process that works in a dry, desert environment
  • using aged American hops such as Crystal, Chinook, and Cascade in spontaneous beer
  • adding funk character to saison with aged hops
  • using regenerative certified organic grains in saison
  • building a base with five or six different wood-aged saisons to stand up to strong flavored ingredients
  • balancing acidity in spontaneous and saison beer
  • brewing with Kernza grain
  • partnering with local growers and a local maltster to support a new grain economy

And more.

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