Winning medals isn’t everything in brewing, but it sure can help. Seeking out that external validation from a panel of peer judges is often more frustrating than it is rewarding, but that’s by design. It’s hard to win, and it should be.
For Ryan and Jacque Fields of Wild Fields Brewhouse, their hyper-focus on improving their odds of winning paid off big at the 2022 World Beer Cup, and the young brewery walked away with four gold medals. In this episode, they share some of the background and philosophy behind their competition strategy, including how they choose categories to enter, and optimizing individual beers to appeal to the widest range of judges.
In addition, the Fieldses discuss:
- building a family-friendly brewery taproom
- the ins and outs of American and English-style brown ale
- malt selection for brown ales
- optimizing water chemistry to take beers from good to great
- employing contemporary techniques such as whirlpool hopping in classic styles
- the approach to making funky wild ales that Fields developed at Beachwood Blendery
- unlocking the funk with aged hops
- building a hop-tolerant mixed culture that develops acidity slowly
- packaging for competitions
This episode is brought to you by:
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