Episode 165: Bret Kollman Baker of Urban Artifact is Fastidious About Quick Sour Beers


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When approached with creativity, passion, and clarity of purpose, any beer style can be great. Quick sours—in the hands of Urban Artifact’s Bret Kollman Baker—are an object lesson in this intense approach, which transcends style basics to achieve a high level of sophistication and nuance. Urban Artifact only make sour beer, and that singular approach means they have no choice but to make them well.

In this episode of the podcast, Kollman Baker gets into the fine points of brewing quick-soured beers, including:

  • Kettle-souring without the kettle
  • Temperature impacts on kettle-souring
  • Pasteurizing puréed fruit in the brewhouse for ideal fruit expression
  • Designing different base beers to bring out the best traits in each fruit
  • Adjusting water chemistry to maximize fruit expression
  • Yeast management in acidic beers
  • Winemakers’ tricks applied to fruit beers
  • Contextual approaches to different fruit processing
  • Avoiding off-flavors in difficult fruits like strawberries
  • Managing actual versus perceived acidity
  • Massaging consumer expectations through descriptions

And much more.

Kollman Baker isn’t afraid to speak his mind, believing deeply in the artful approach they’ve adopted. Making great quick-soured beer is not a fluke—it’s the product of thoughtful people optimizing processes to achieve the best possible outcome. Just because their souring process is faster than longer mixed-culture methods doesn’t mean it’s less valid, less flavorful, or a shortcut. On the contrary, Kollman Baker embraces techniques that produce the better tasting beer, adjusting brewhouse workflow to optimize for this end product.

*This episode is brought to you by: *

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