Podcast Episode 351: The Big Friendly Takes a Down-To-Earth Approach to Award-Winning Saisons and Barrel-Aged Stouts

The brewery that got its start as a mobile draft trailer and beer bus has now won back-to-back small Brewery of the Year honors at the Great American Beer Festival—but the Quinlan brothers won’t tell you there’s anything special to their winning ways.

Jamie Bogner Mar 22, 2024 - 5 min read

Podcast Episode 351: The Big Friendly Takes a Down-To-Earth Approach to Award-Winning Saisons and Barrel-Aged Stouts Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Big Friendly

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Will and Joe Quinlan, brothers and cofounders of the Big Friendly in Oklahoma City—they just make beer. Will loves saison, so they make a few saisons every year. Joe loves barrel-aged stouts, so they make a few of those every year. Their distribution is minuscule and production is very small—their back-to-back GABF Brewery and Brewer of the Year awards are in the 250–500 barrel category—but despite their small size, they take a meticulous approach to beermaking.

In this episode, the brothers each recount their approach and process, discussing:

  • how they build mixed-fermentation cultures out of separate stock strains
  • resting and conditioning saison
  • using flavor- and aroma-forward New Zealand hops in saison
  • tuning sourdough yeast for beer fermentation
  • barrel-conditioning saison
  • editing the malts in barrel-aged stouts

And more.

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