Come Together: Firestone Walker Propagator’s Sam Tierney, Highland Park’s Bob Kunz, and Humble Sea’s Nick Pavlina discuss the technical and conceptual underpinnings of dry-hopped, West Coast pilsner.
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West Coast pilsner is the topic of this month’s roundtable, and we’ve assembled a talented trio of California brewers to drive the discussion forward. From firestone walker Brewery promoter in Venice, Sam Tierney returns to the podcast; Highland Park founder Bob Kunz joins from their Los Angeles location; and Santa Cruz, Humble sea co-founder Nick Pavlina completes the panel.
The subject is West Coast pilsner, and each of these brews is a prime example, from Highland Park’s award-winning Timbo Pils to Firestone Walker’s Welcome to LA and Humble Sea’s Santa Cruz Pils.
Here, the brewers discuss:
- the challenge of building the body and structure to balance the hop loads in a lean beer
- simplify malt bills and use domestic pilsner malt for higher attenuation
- finding better hop expression through retention in dry hops
- avoiding excessive malt complexity to allow the hops to shine
- layering of low alpha hops to create texture and support fruitier modern hop notes
- select aromatic hops for cohesion
- manage hop creep
- distinguishing west coast pilsner from cold IPA and Italian pilsner
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