Podcast Episode 257: Pilsner West Coast Roundtable with Firestone Walker, Highland Park and Humble Sea

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

And more.

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