Episode 183: For Bobby Kros of Kros Strain, Innovation and Tradition Go Hand in Hand

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That old axiom “be careful what you wish for” is true when it comes to award-winning beers and the recognition they attract. Winning a top medal for IPA at the Great American Beer Festival is the dream of many brewers—but such recognition often means making more and more IPA at the expense of other styles. Feeding the demand for a hot beer isn’t easy for a small brewery, and smaller projects and experiments can get put on the back burner.

Kros Strain Brewing in La Vista, Nebraska, has faced that challenge, and while they still love hazy, New England-style IPA, they’ve doubled down on a commitment to other styles that excite them, from mixed-culture beers to lagers. Innovation doesn’t come at the expense of tradition—instead, it creates resources that the brewery can apply to building out a well-rounded beer program.

Cofounder Bobby Kros is committed to this approach, and in this episode he runs the gamut from IPA to barrel-aged lager. Topics include:

  • Selecting the right yeast strain for hazy IPA
  • Brewhouse practice for good fermentation results, generation after generation
  • Adjusting finishing gravity to track with increased hops loads in DDH IPA
  • Evaluating and selecting Mosaic and Citra
  • Selecting and blending commercially available cultures and Brett blends for the ideal mixed culture
  • “Mock” decoction for mixed-culture farmhouse beers
  • Brewing farmhouse ales to a higher 33-40 IBUs to balance and control acidity
  • Building out a broader sour program with mixed-culture Flanders-style ales and Berliner weisse
  • Barrel-aging lagers

And more.

*This episode is brought to you by: *

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