142 episodes

Listen to the podcast for those who make and drink great beer. Every week we talk to professional brewers and industry experts about practical brewing advice, in-depth coverage of brewing trends that matter to you, and tips for getting the most out of your homebrew.

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine Podcast Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7, 195 Ratings

Listen to the podcast for those who make and drink great beer. Every week we talk to professional brewers and industry experts about practical brewing advice, in-depth coverage of brewing trends that matter to you, and tips for getting the most out of your homebrew.

    Episode 142: Drekker's Mark Bjornstad on Balancing Tart, Thick, Envelope-Pushing Fruit-Smoothie Ales

    Episode 142: Drekker's Mark Bjornstad on Balancing Tart, Thick, Envelope-Pushing Fruit-Smoothie Ales

    Drekker Brewing in Fargo, North Dakota, has grabbed the attention of enthusiasts across the country with funky, smoothie-thick, highly fruited beers such as their Chonk and Braaaaaaaains series.


    Here, Mark Bjornstad, the brewery's president and cofounder—not to mention, part-time nurse anesthetist—talks about building maximum character and body into those beers while maintaining balance via acidity, sweetness, mouthfeel, and strength. He also discusses careful selection of Lactobacillus strains for complexity, acidity, and souring time, to prepare the wort for large additions of fruit, hops, lactose, and other flavorings.


    Drekker's flagship Irish red, Broken Rudder, is popular locally, but is now contract-brewed so that they can focus on the weirder stuff in their own brewhouse. That's the evolution of their original plan to win the trust of local drinkers while gradually rolling out weirder beers.


    "If we could get people into these beers, and we could introduce them into what craft beer was and what style diversity was, then they might trust us—and then we might try some weird things. ... We could immediately challenge them on what beer could be."


    "When we were coming up with those things, we were scared—whether they were going to be too weird, whether anyone would follow us with this," Bjornstad says. "Now that I look back at it, those are some of the tamest things we do now, what we thought was crazy 10 years ago."


    This episode is brought to you by:
    G&D Chillers (https://gdchillers.com): Nearly 2,000 breweries across the US, Canada & Mexico partner with G&D Chillers. Innovative, Modular Designs and no proprietary parts propel G&D ahead as the premier choice for your glycol chilling needs. Breweries you recognize—Russian River, Ninkasi, Jack's Abby, Samuel Adams and more—trust G&D to chill the beer you love! Call G&D Chillers to discuss your project today or reach out directly at GDChillers.com.


    BSG (https://bsgcraftbrewing.com/): Crisp Flaked Maize! Shake up your beer recipe with an easy-going adjunct from BSG. Crisp Torrefied Flaked Maize from BSG is a ready-to-mash, pre-gelatinized adjunct. Crisp Flaked Maize provides a subtle flavor and mouth feel without a significant color contribution. It has 80% extract, does not require milling, and is a non-GM certified ingredient. Learn more about Crisp Torrefied Flaked Maize at bsgcraftbrewing.com, or contact them at 1.800.374.2739.


    Brewmation (https://www.brewmation.com/): With nearly 20 years of innovation and experience, Brewmation specializes in electric, steam, and direct fire brew houses, complete cellar solutions, and automated controls for the craft brewing industry. From ½ barrel to 30 barrel systems, Brewmation puts you in control to design a brewery that fits your needs and brewing style. Whether you’re starting a new brewery, upgrading your cellar, or just need some parts to keep you up and running, Brewmation has you covered. Visit them at Brewmation.com to get started.


    Spike Brewing (https://spikebrewing.com/craft):
    Born out of a basement in Milwaukee a decade ago, Spike has grown to become a leading manufacturer of premium-quality brewing equipment. So, if you’re looking for a reliable system for home or a commercial-grade Nano for your brewery, this is the time to buy! Spike is offering CB&B listeners a special 10% off all three-vessel system purchases, while supplies last. Visit spikebrewing.com/craft and enter the code CBB at checkout. Spike Brewing—pursue what’s possible.


    ABE Beverage Equipment (https://ABEequipment.com):
    ABE Beverage Equipment provides complete brewing and packaging solutions worldwide. Whether you are just starting out or are looking to expand, ABE offers brewhouses, tanks, canning lines and more for small to medium sized brewers. ABE has equipped over one thousand breweries worldwide and

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Episode 141: Chris Harris of Black Frog Just Brews What He Likes to Drink

    Episode 141: Chris Harris of Black Frog Just Brews What He Likes to Drink

    The way Chris Harris caught the brewing bug will be familiar to many: It all started with a Mr. Beer kit. From there it evolved into a 20-gallon garage nanobrewery, and later the 2.5-barrel system he fires up twice a week for his neighborhood taproom, where he also pours the beers.


    At Black Frog, Harris is a one-man show, and at times he sounds like an embodiment of the craft ethos. He's not following the latest trends, but he brews what he likes to drink—especially the classic American styles—pale ale, brown ale, cream ale. “My beers tend to be a little maltier, and a little bit sweeter, than most beers. It’s done on purpose because that’s just my taste.”


    “When I’m brewing beer, I get into a zen thing,” Harris says. “It’s just me and the beer, and there’s nothing else going on. Before I know it, my brew day is over with, because I’m so in tune to making beer.”


    As a black brewer and entrepreneur, Harris also shares his thoughts on getting more people of color interested in craft beer. In his view, that starts with getting more of them into the brewhouses, via apprenticeships or other means.


    This episode is brought to you by:
    G&D Chillers (https://gdchillers.com): Nearly 2,000 breweries across the US, Canada & Mexico partner with G&D Chillers. Innovative, Modular Designs and no proprietary parts propel G&D ahead as the premier choice for your glycol chilling needs. Breweries you recognize—Russian River, Ninkasi, Jack's Abby, Samuel Adams and more—trust G&D to chill the beer you love! Call G&D Chillers to discuss your project today or reach out directly at GDChillers.com.


    Old Orchard (https://www.oldorchard.com/brewer): Old Orchard supplies craft juice blends from the heart of Beer City USA. As the industry blending experts, they supply major national brands and growing breweries alike. They've been the best-kept juicy secret in craft beverage for years, but now the secret's out. Breweries across the board are experiencing a seamless transition to Old Orchard as their new juice supplier. So hop aboard the Old Orchard fruit train; their sample kit starter pack is waiting for you at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.


    Hopsteiner (https://www.hopsteiner.com): This episode is brought to you by Hopsteiner–your premium hop supplier dedicated to delivering quality hops and hop products in every package. Visit Hopsteiner.com for a complete list of offerings or select “shop hops” to start ordering today.


    Spike Brewing (https://spikebrewing.com/craft):
    Born out of a basement in Milwaukee a decade ago, Spike has grown to become a leading manufacturer of premium-quality brewing equipment. So, if you’re looking for a reliable system for home or a commercial-grade Nano for your brewery, this is the time to buy! Spike is offering CB&B listeners a special 10% off all three-vessel system purchases, while supplies last. Visit spikebrewing.com/craft and enter the code CBB at checkout. Spike Brewing—pursue what’s possible.


    Brewers Publications (https://www.brewerspublications.com):
    This episode is brought to you by BrewersPublications.com, publishers of “Gose: Brewing a Classic German Beer for the Modern Era” by Fal Allen. Gose explores the history of this lightly sour wheat beer style, its traditional ingredients and special brewing techniques. Learn about salinity, spices, and lactic acid as you experiment with Gose recipes from some of the best-known craft brewers of our time.
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    • 47 min
    Episode 140: Jeff Herbert of Superstition Meadery on Envisioning and Making Best-in-Class Craft Beverages

    Episode 140: Jeff Herbert of Superstition Meadery on Envisioning and Making Best-in-Class Craft Beverages

    While technically considered wine, mead has long had a stronger affinity with the world of beer and home brewing than it has with the wine world, and the growth of flavor-forward ingredient-laden meads has in many ways mirrored the rise of similarly-designed craft beers. Superstition Meadery, in Prescott, Arizona, has been one of the leaders in that new-school approach, stretching the definition of mead and widening the relevance of one of the world’s oldest fermented beverages. Inspired by innovation in the craft beer space, and in the culinary world, they’ve brought flavors and approaches to the mead world that excite and delight, from white chocolate-inspired fine bottled meads to milkshake meads in cans.


    In this episode, Jeff Herbert (who founded and owns the brewery with his wife Jennifer) walks through the steps that brought them to where they are today—early homebrewing, mead inspiration, technical evolution, and current innovation. He walks through their approach to quality, testing concepts, solving the mead making problem of time, healthy fermentations, honey flavor and mechanics, yeast management in the meadery, methods of adding fruit, improving extraction efficiency, fine tuning fruit expression for complexity, the impact of aging, and more.


    As brewers and craft beverage drinkers stretch out and explore adjacent fermentations, mead is increasingly finding its place in their repertoire. Herbert makes a great case for its relevance, driven by a creativity, enthusiasm, and ambition that you can hear in his voice.


    This episode is brought to you by:
    G&D Chillers (https://gdchillers.com): Nearly 2,000 breweries across the US, Canada & Mexico partner with G&D Chillers. Innovative, Modular Designs and no proprietary parts propel G&D ahead as the premier choice for your glycol chilling needs. Breweries you recognize—Russian River, Ninkasi, Jack's Abby, Samuel Adams and more—trust G&D to chill the beer you love! Call G&D Chillers to discuss your project today or reach out directly at GDChillers.com.


    Old Orchard (https://www.oldorchard.com/brewer): Old Orchard supplies craft juice blends from the heart of Beer City USA. As the industry blending experts, they supply major national brands and growing breweries alike. They've been the best-kept juicy secret in craft beverage for years, but now the secret's out. Breweries across the board are experiencing a seamless transition to Old Orchard as their new juice supplier. So hop aboard the Old Orchard fruit train; their sample kit starter pack is waiting for you at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.


    Hopsteiner (https://www.hopsteiner.com): This episode is brought to you by Hopsteiner–your premium hop supplier dedicated to delivering quality hops and hop products in every package. Visit Hopsteiner.com for a complete list of offerings or select “shop hops” to start ordering today.


    Spike Brewing (https://spikebrewing.com/craft):
    Born out of a basement in Milwaukee a decade ago, Spike has grown to become a leading manufacturer of premium-quality brewing equipment. So, if you’re looking for a reliable system for home or a commercial-grade Nano for your brewery, this is the time to buy! Spike is offering CB&B listeners a special 10% off all three-vessel system purchases, while supplies last. Visit spikebrewing.com/craft and enter the code CBB at checkout. Spike Brewing—pursue what’s possible.


    Brewers Publications (https://www.brewerspublications.com):
    This episode is brought to you by BrewersPublications.com, publishers of “Gose: Brewing a Classic German Beer for the Modern Era” by Fal Allen. Gose explores the history of this lightly sour wheat beer style, its traditional ingredients and special brewing techniques. Learn about salinity, spices, and lactic acid as you experiment with Gose recipes from some of the best-known craft brewers of

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Episode 139: Andy Farrell, Brewing Innovation Manager for Bell's Brewery, on the Delicate Design of Low-Cal IPAs

    Episode 139: Andy Farrell, Brewing Innovation Manager for Bell's Brewery, on the Delicate Design of Low-Cal IPAs

    Making a great low-ABV, low-calorie beer is a lot more work than just scaling down a larger recipe, so when Bell’s Brewery decided to enter the very hot low-calorie category with a lighter riff on their popular Two Hearted Ale IPA, Brewing Innovation Manager Andy Farrell knew he had his work cut out for him.


    In this conversation, he leads with a general discussion of the hops selection and validation process—from building a common lexicon in the team around aroma and flavor notes, to selection process/scoring and testing then integrating new crop years into the production cycle. The conversation then turns to bitterness, where Farrell mentions that Bell’s has always dry hopped mainstay Two Hearted during active fermentation. When translating that signature Two Hearted character into the smaller format of Light Hearted, the team made clever choices, like adding a bit of Australian-grown Galaxy hops to the mix, and he explains the testing and design process behind that small but bold choice. In light IPAs, body is a big concern, and Farrell dives into the specific ways they fill in the otherwise hollow middle, only using traditional brewing ingredients—hops, water, yeast, and malt.


    While exploring this new territory is always a process of iteration, Farrell believes that the idea drives the product, rather than the process resulting in a product. “You want to build a beer with the destination in mind,” says Farrell, “and the recipe being the map. Not with the destination unknown.”


    This episode is brought to you by:
    G&D Chillers (https://gdchillers.com): Nearly 2,000 breweries across the US, Canada & Mexico partner with G&D Chillers. Innovative, Modular Designs and no proprietary parts propel G&D ahead as the premier choice for your glycol chilling needs. Breweries you recognize—Russian River, Ninkasi, Jack's Abby, Samuel Adams and more—trust G&D to chill the beer you love! Call G&D Chillers to discuss your project today or reach out directly at GDChillers.com.


    Old Orchard (https://www.oldorchard.com/brewer): Old Orchard supplies craft juice blends from the heart of Beer City USA. As the industry blending experts, they supply major national brands and growing breweries alike. They've been the best-kept juicy secret in craft beverage for years, but now the secret's out. Breweries across the board are experiencing a seamless transition to Old Orchard as their new juice supplier. So hop aboard the Old Orchard fruit train; their sample kit starter pack is waiting for you at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.


    Hopsteiner (https://www.hopsteiner.com): This episode is brought to you by Hopsteiner–your premium hop supplier dedicated to delivering quality hops and hop products in every package. Visit Hopsteiner.com for a complete list of offerings or select “shop hops” to start ordering today.


    Ska Fabricating (https://skafabricating.com):
    Ska Fabricating is excited to introduce the newest player in their all-star lineup of canning line automation: The Magic Bus, a fully automatic can depalletizer with pallet management. No more pouring time and labor into the manual handling of pallets, top frames and tier sheets on your canning line - packaging teams can simply load cans, deband, and press start. To learn more, contact Ska Fab today at (970) 403-8562 or reach out online at skafabricating.com.


    Brewers Publications (https://www.brewerspublications.com):
    This episode is brought to you by Brewers Publications, publishers of “Historical Brewing Techniques: The Lost Art of Farmhouse Brewing” by Lars Marius Garshol. Equal parts history, cultural anthropology, social science, and travelogue, “Historical Brewing Techniques” describes Northern European farmhouse brewing and fermentation methods that are vastly different from modern craft brewing. Order your copy of Historical Brewing Technique

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 138: Jeremy Tofte of Melvin: Learn From Mistakes, Focus on Improvement

    Episode 138: Jeremy Tofte of Melvin: Learn From Mistakes, Focus on Improvement

    Dickens’ opening paragraph for “A Tale of Two Cities” provides an appropriate metaphor for the past few years of Melvin Brewing’s existence—best and worst, wisdom and foolishness, belief and incredulity, light and darkness, despair and hope. The highs have been sky-high, with eight GABF medals (six gold), four World Beer Cup medals (two gold), and two first- and one second-place finish in the Alpha King challenge. But the lows have been equally low—a high profile incident in Bellingham, Washington that led to the closure of the expansion brewpub, and the closure of their second expansion brewpub in San Diego.


    Rather than throw in the towel, founder Jeremy Tofte paused the party and dove into problem solving mode, knowing that the way the company had been cast didn’t reflect the values he and the staff held. Today’s Melvin still loves to have fun, but is more self-conscious and aware, more disciplined, and lets their values power the party.


    The impact of Melvin on the IPA style has been significant—their early use of whirlpool hopping and high dry hopping levels were once considered absurd by fellow brewers, but are now de rigueur and a core element of today’s hazy and soft IPA. Here, Tofte recounts that innovation process that led them to exploring new techniques to achieve flavors outside of the mainstream. Along the way, he discusses the parameters they change and the ones they keep consistent, the impact of mash temp on recipe scaling, pushing the brewing team to embrace hazy beers, and designing beers for a national palate while still retaining the soul of Melvin.


    Today, Melvin is a better company for the challenges they’ve been through, and they continue to deliver innovative beer for excited drinkers.


    This episode is brought to you by:
    G&D Chillers (https://gdchillers.com): Nearly 2,000 breweries across the US, Canada & Mexico partner with G&D Chillers. Innovative, Modular Designs and no proprietary parts propel G&D ahead as the premier choice for your glycol chilling needs. Breweries you recognize—Russian River, Ninkasi, Jack's Abby, Samuel Adams and more—trust G&D to chill the beer you love! Call G&D Chillers to discuss your project today or reach out directly at GDChillers.com.


    Old Orchard (https://www.oldorchard.com/brewer): Old Orchard supplies craft juice blends from the heart of Beer City USA. As the industry blending experts, they supply major national brands and growing breweries alike. They've been the best-kept juicy secret in craft beverage for years, but now the secret's out. Breweries across the board are experiencing a seamless transition to Old Orchard as their new juice supplier. So hop aboard the Old Orchard fruit train; their sample kit starter pack is waiting for you at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.


    Hopsteiner (https://www.hopsteiner.com): This episode is brought to you by Hopsteiner–your premium hop supplier dedicated to delivering quality hops and hop products in every package. Visit Hopsteiner.com for a complete list of offerings or select “shop hops” to start ordering today.


    Ska Fabricating (https://skafabricating.com):
    Ska Fabricating is excited to introduce the newest player in their all-star lineup of canning line automation: The Magic Bus, a fully automatic can depalletizer with pallet management. No more pouring time and labor into the manual handling of pallets, top frames and tier sheets on your canning line - packaging teams can simply load cans, deband, and press start. To learn more, contact Ska Fab today at (970) 403-8562 or reach out online at skafabricating.com.


    Brewers Publications (https://www.brewerspublications.com):
    This episode is brought to you by Brewers Publications, publishers of “Historical Brewing Techniques: The Lost Art of Farmhouse Brewing” by Lars Marius Garshol. Equal parts history, cultural anthropolo

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Episode 137: Odell Brewing's COO Brendan McGivney Believes IPA Can Always Be Better

    Episode 137: Odell Brewing's COO Brendan McGivney Believes IPA Can Always Be Better

    It’s one thing to make great beer, it’s another thing to do it consistently, and it’s another thing entirely to maintain such a high standard for three decades. But take a look at Odell Brewing’s medal history at the Great American Beer Festival, and one thing is apparent—they started strong, and never let off the gas. From their first medal in 1991 (their second year of business) through their most recent in 2019 (20 medals total), they’ve built a reputation for making quality beer, and Chief Operating Officer Brendan McGivney has been there for much of that history.


    Today, McGivney oversees the brewing side of the business, and has earned a reputation for his hops savvy—a useful skill set for a brewery with a flagship IPA that remains its best-seller today, thirteen years after it won its first GABF gold medal in the IPA category.


    In this episode, McGivney steps up to the mic for the first time, sharing thoughts on hops choices, blending, iteration, shipping, selection, processing, and agriculture.


    “One of the reasons we’ve been so successful with some of our hoppy beers is that we’re not so stringent on [recipe],” says McGivney. “IPA started with three hops, and [now] IPA has nine hops in it. Every year we’re fading some in and out, based on the performance of that crop year. You want to maintain the flavor profile of the brand. And you can do that with lots of different hop varieties. If you’re a good brewer, you don’t need to rely on the two that you built your recipe on.”


    McGivney dives into Odell’s approach to building recipes that connect with the agricultural interests of hops growers, for relationships that benefit everyone. He discusses their finicky approach to getting the most out of hops, from cold shipping through fresh grinding (“Oxidation comes down to temperature and time, so if you can keep your temp down, you can extend your time. It’s that simple.”) The discussion turns to hops varietal interaction, and the way smaller amounts of certain hops highlight and balance the big characters of others. He also delves into hopping techniques, from the “cool pool” to hopback to hammer mill, and how those processes impact the flavor of finished beer.


    The conversation closes by touching on pandemic drinking and brewing trends—beer drinkers’ shrinking appetite for rampant experimentation, and the search for comfort in familiar, trusted brands.


    This episode is brought to you by:
    G&D Chillers (https://gdchillers.com): Nearly 2,000 breweries across the US, Canada & Mexico partner with G&D Chillers. Innovative, Modular Designs and no proprietary parts propel G&D ahead as the premier choice for your glycol chilling needs. Breweries you recognize—Russian River, Ninkasi, Jack's Abby, Samuel Adams and more—trust G&D to chill the beer you love! Call G&D Chillers to discuss your project today or reach out directly at GDChillers.com.


    Old Orchard (https://www.oldorchard.com/brewer): Old Orchard supplies craft juice blends from the heart of Beer City USA. As the industry blending experts, they supply major national brands and growing breweries alike. They've been the best-kept juicy secret in craft beverage for years, but now the secret's out. Breweries across the board are experiencing a seamless transition to Old Orchard as their new juice supplier. So hop aboard the Old Orchard fruit train; their sample kit starter pack is waiting for you at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.


    Hopsteiner (https://www.hopsteiner.com): This episode is brought to you by Hopsteiner–your premium hop supplier dedicated to delivering quality hops and hop products in every package. Visit Hopsteiner.com for a complete list of offerings or select “shop hops” to start ordering today.


    Ska Fabricating (https://skafabricating.com):
    Ska Fabricating is excited to introduce th

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
195 Ratings

195 Ratings

The Sinister Brewer ,

Eric Wallace interview

I have always enjoyed this podcast. Even though I am not a commercial brewer but just a hobbyist homebrewer, I still find the interviews enlightening. I especially liked this interview with Eric Wallace. He made some very poignant points. While disturbing, we need to face these new realities and I thought he articulated it very well.

jokojolhkfgggg ,

Solid. Excellent

The only critique is that you need more new england brewers as quests. Please get Allagash already. Also get Brian from Mystic (though the closed up shop they were the best in Boston).

Clarisse Gomez ,

Awesome Podcast!!!

The host of the Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine Podcast, highlights all aspects of craft beer, brewing and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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