Episode 193: Adam Cieslak of Maplewood Puts A Gentle Spin on Classic Styles

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Five years ago, Chicago’s Maplewood Brewing brewed 1,000 barrels of beer per year and were small upstarts in a crowded Chicago beer market. This year, they’re on track to brew over 16,000 barrels of beer—a rapid growth trajectory made possible by their twin focus on quality and ingenuity. While they’ve embraced current styles like hazy IPA and all manor of flavor-addled imperial stouts, they’ve placed equal emphasis on staple beers like Charlatan APA and Fat Pug oatmeal milk stout—beers where subtle expressions of creativity and quality matter.

In this episode of the podcast, cofounder and head brewer Adam Cieslak discusses their approach to these classic styles, touching on everything that makes these simple beers stand out:

  • Fermenting with highly attenuative yeast
  • Utilizing small amounts of wheat to bring beer together
  • The big impacts from small whirlpool temperature adjustments
  • Short dry hopping with fast crashes for maximum hop aroma
  • Eliminating oxygen to improve beer brightness and longevity
  • Using lactose strategically in sessional stouts
  • Building a full spectrum flavorful malt base
  • Selecting malts to maximize pleasurable flavors
    and more.

Maplewood is proof that contemporary creativity can coexist with classic consistency.

*This episode is brought to you by: *

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