Podcast Episode 359: Ryan Miller of Vermont’s Freak Folk Finds Unique Flavors in Layered Fermentations

Lessons learned from many years of saison brewing have informed Freak Folk’s signature approach to brewing Vermont’s marquee style—hazy IPA.

Jamie Bogner May 10, 2024 - 6 min read

Podcast Episode 359: Ryan Miller of Vermont’s Freak Folk Finds Unique Flavors in Layered Fermentations Primary Image

Subscribe to the Craft Beer & Brewing Podcast:

Ryan Miller and Lillian MacNamara—both experienced brewers and cofounders of Freak Folk Bier—are partners in business and life, making the brewery, as Miller says, “a love story interwoven with brewing.”

Both share a love of saison, and Freak Folk began with a focus on special-release saisons and has expanded since then into a broader selection of styles to fill out the lines of their taproom in Waterbury, Vermont. Yet even the other styles they brew exhibit the same kind of delicate balance and nuanced structure that they honed while experimenting with saisons.

In this episode, Miller discusses their approaches to both saison and hazy IPA, touching on:

  • building and maintaining mixed cultures
  • brewing attenuated saison with a single-infusion mash and controlled primary and secondary fermentations
  • controlling acidity in saison through the mash
  • using unusual ingredients in unusual ways in saison
  • building a compelling grain bill in hazy IPA
  • blending base malts for the right balance of flavor and color
  • copitching yeast strains
  • adjusting gravity based on ABV
  • using advanced hop products

And more.

G&D Chillers
At G&D Chillers we always strive to Build Great Chillers. Partner with us as you Build Great Beer. Andy Joynt of Big Grove Brewery says, “We have been using G&D Chillers from the beginning. From our original 3.5 BBL pub system to our production brewery we have been able to rely on G&D to provide a high quality chiller, help us with design and layout, and provide support whenever we need it.” Choose G&D Chillers on your next Expansion or Brewery start up and receive 1 free year of Remote Control and Monitoring of your new G&D Chiller!

ProBrew Logo 200px
ProBrew is the industry partner that brewers trust to take their operations to the next level, especially when it comes to canning their product for distribution. By partnering with ProBrew, brewers can fill and seam their canned product at ranges from 100–600 cans per minute. Our unique filling process also ensures low dissolved oxygen pickup and focuses on product quality during the entire process. For more information, visit probrew.com or email us at [email protected]. ProBrew, Brew YOUR Beer.

Old Orchard logo 200px
You might have heard of Old Orchard, but have you heard of their newest flavors? Berry Blend, Blood Orange, Lemonade, and Tart Cherry are the latest additions to their lineup of flavored craft juice concentrate blends. Old Orchard’s R&D team can also formulate custom blends unique to your needs. To learn more and request your free samples, head over to oldorchard.com/brewer.

Streamline efficiency with Omega Yeast’s Diacetyl Knock Out series. The DKO series is comprised of eight familiar yeast strains engineered to knock out the formation of diacetyl before it starts. The strains you know, now better. Available now for made-to-order pitchables at any volume. Contact Omega Yeast today at omegayeast.com.

ABS Commercial has been a full-service brewery outfitter for more than 10 years. We are proud to offer brewhouses, tanks, keg washers, and preventative maintenance parts to brewers across the country as well as equipment for distilling, cider-making, wine-making, and more! We know the ins and outs of the brewing and installation process and can design the perfect set-up for you, whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand. Contact us today at [email protected] to discuss your customized brewery needs. ABS Commercial. We are brewers.

The latest product from Yakima Chief Hops, YCH 702, is a flowable extract designed to maximize aroma and increase whirlpool yield. YCH 702 is flowable at room temperature, standardized to 20% total oil, and contains high concentration of survivable hop compounds which increases the chances of the aroma showing up in the final beer. 1 kilogram of YCH 702 equates to 10 kilograms of T90 pellets. YCH 702 Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and Sabro are available. Contact your Yakima Chief hops rep for more information!

If you’re opening or expanding a brewery, getting your building right is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. The architects at OPA Design Studio are your partners in developing the unique design you need. With more than a decade of experience designing breweries, the folks at OPA are here to serve as your trusted experts from start to finish with their full range of architectural services. Visit designopa.com to set up your no obligation introductory consultation today.

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