Episode 55: Crooked Stave's Chad Yakobson: Geek Out On Sour (and “Clean” Beer)


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From his pioneering masters thesis on fermenting with Brettanomyces to his current role running a 10,000 BBL per year brewery and artisan-focused craft distributorship in Denver, Colorado, Chad Yakobson has made his mark on the world of brewing. In this conversation with Jamie Bogner, he discusses his early days of Brett research, myths about mixed culture fermentations, the brewhouse feedback loop with sensory and lab components that work in sync, the importance of water chemistry on beer color, optimizing brewhouse processes to improve the longevity and shelf stability of beer, shaping acidity with hops in mixed culture beers, and more.

“Craft beer for so long has been a muscle flexing contest,” says Yakobson. “Sour beer is not meant to be aggressive. This is not the sour arms race. Nobody wants the most sour beer—that’s gross. We want to make the most complex beer.”

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