Video Tip: Modern Pale Ale as a Vehicle for Creativity and Variety

Tim Sciascia, cofounder and head brewer at Cellarmaker in San Francisco, explains how the desire for balanced variety in the taproom drives the design and various hop permutations in their popular pale ales.

Tim Sciascia Feb 23, 2022 - 2 min read

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Based in San Francisco, Cellarmaker is known among its peers for a style of pale ale and IPA sometimes called “West Coast haze,” cramming plenty of modern, fruit-forward hop aroma and flavor into a hazy yet light-bodied, dry, highly drinkable frame. Easygoing pale ales such as Tiny Dankster, Dobis, Mt. Nelson, and New Beer Smell are among Cellarmaker’s most popular beers.

In this 76-minute video course, cofounder and head brewer Tim Sciascia details Cellarmaker’s whole approach and process to brewing these modern pale ales. Among other topics, he discusses:

  • how to maximize drinkability and balance in hop-forward pale ales
  • selecting the best hops available
  • hop varieties and when to use them, from the kettle to dry-hopping
  • the importance of bittering hops for structure
  • why to restrain your whirlpool hop additions
  • advantages of post-fermentation dry-hopping
  • rousing dry hops with CO2 to maximize aroma
  • using enzymes to prevent diacetyl from hop creep
  • yeast and fermentation in support of other components
  • finagling some haze from the Chico strain
  • brewing brighter West Coast–style pale ale
  • building a malt bill to support the hops
  • mashing high for sweetness to balance bitterness
  • water profiles for hazy and West Coast pale ales

And much more.

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