Episode 108: Civil Life Brewing's Dylan Mosley on Brewing Flavorful Small and Sessionable Beers

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Civil Life Brewing is a brewer's brewery. The biggest beers on the menu top out around 6.5%, the taproom is comfortable and pubby, and everything across the board is finely crafted with character and intention. It's wonderful space in which to drink beer, staffed by folks intensely passionate about what they do, serving beer confidently unflashy yet thoroughly satisfying. To build such character and expression into small beers, head brewer Dylan Mosley has spent the past eight years fine tuning every element of their beers, and in this episode, he walks through the various ways they amplify flavor without hiking up the ABV. Carefully selecting malt not just for color but for flavor, is first and foremost. While some brewers prefer broad ranges of malt, Mosley operates in a tighter range, often using similar malts from different malt houses in the same beer to provide shades of nuance. His goal, of course, is to move past the specificity of individual ingredients, so that everything hangs together as a whole. "You don't want the end of the story before you start it," says Mosley. "You need a little something else there. I spend more time thinking about what's in the middle of the beer rather than base malt or finishing touches." From malt to yeast, water, hops, and even finishing processes like filtration, Mosley runs through the things that make Civil Life beers beloved by drinkers, and brewers, in their native St. Louis.

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