Podcast Episode 360: Joe Lemnah of Burlington Beer Tests, Learns, and Tests Again to Optimize Hazy IPA with Personality

In his quest to understand the impact of every ingredient in their ever-widening family of hazy IPAs, no test is off-limits for Burlington Beer founder Joe Lemnah. From malts and adjuncts to the impact of yeast strains on surprisingly classic hop combos, the Burlington team haven’t stopped learning and tweaking in their pursuit of optimized flavor.

Jamie Bogner May 17, 2024 - 6 min read

Podcast Episode 360: Joe Lemnah of Burlington Beer Tests, Learns, and Tests Again to Optimize Hazy IPA with Personality Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Burlington Beer Co.

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For Joe Lemnah, going to work at a brewery was no reason to stop homebrewing. The same need to explore and understand that drove him to brew at home every week still informs his process of testing and learning, even a decade after opening Burlington Beer in Burlington, Vermont.

In this episode, Lemnah focuses on the evolution and processes behind the style for which they’re best-known—hazy IPA—but their approach differs from other New England stalwarts. From unconventional (yet classic) hop choices such as Simcoe and Chinook, to high-adjunct grists in which each grain serves a specific purpose, the choices that Lemnah and Burlington team make are based on a continuous process of testing, confirmation, revision, and tweaking.

During this conversation, he touches on:

  • exploring the impact of different grains in hazy IPA
  • both embracing and avoiding “cheat code” hops
  • pushing high-adjunct loads of 30 to 40 percent to maximize soft texture
  • building middle notes through hop blends and process
  • using less traditional hops for aroma
  • maximizing various ways to achieve interesting hop flavors and aromas
  • learning the mechanics of fermentation and yeast harvesting with London Ale III
  • building character in pub-focused lagers with rye and other grains

And more.

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