Episode 78: La Cumbre's Jeff Erway: Another Way to Think About Hops


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With six GABF medals and four World Beer Cup medals under his belt (in categories ranging from Pilsner to stout to IPA), La Cumbre Brewing Company’s Jeff Erway has built a reputation as a perfectionist and outspoken proponent of brewing quality. He’s both a traditionalist and an iconoclast, depending on the style, occasion, or issue—not afraid to break a few eggs, but deeply respectful of the history and tradition of brewing. In this conversation, he discusses building a malt base for IPAs, creating color with malts other than caramel malts, promoting stability of hops aromas through whirlpool and hop back hopping, the impacts of lower temperatures in hops processing on hops performance in the brewhouse, managing refermentation after dry hopping, hops evaluation and blending, and his joy in beating some of the world’s biggest lager producers at their own game with his gold-medal-winning BEER light lager. “There are some styles that I’ll take a great deal of artistic license with, and there are those that I will not,” says Erway. “I’m going to take a lot more artistic license with an 8% alcohol hazy double IPA than I am with a Pilsner.”

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