Episode 177: St. Elmo’s Bryan Winslow Embraces the “A-Ha” Moment

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In today’s brewing world, big and bold flavors tend to attract drinkers with an an endless thirt for what’s next. But for Austin’s St. Elmo Brewing,, those aren’t the beers that are going to get people coming back week after week to enjoy a sunny afternoon in their beer garden. Instead, they focus on optimizing quality that whispers rather than screams, making beers that don’t need to tell you how great they are. It may take a pint or two for that “aha” moment to happen, but that’s their ultimate goal—for consumers to realize the beer is good without having to focus intently on the beer itself.

With a core Kölsch-style ale whose yeast feed a number of other beers in their lineup (from hazy IPA to kettle sours), they’ve systematically built a production strategy that works for their small, pub-style brewhouse, creating efficiencies but also opening the door to experimentation.

In this episode, Winslow talks about that Kölsch, which they call Carl, and the details that go into it—such as malt selection, the infusion mash, plus the yeast strain and its expression at different temperatures.

The same strain ferments their hazy IPA, and Winslow discusses biotransformation with that yeast, dry hopping at cooler temperatures, how pH affects the hop expression, and more. The conversation finishes on fruited kettle sours and then hard seltzers—a category the brewery has started to embrace, to fulfill its mission to be a destination for groups of varying tastes.

*This episode is brought to you by: *

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