Hops and Firestone Walker with Matt Brynildson – BeerSmith Podcast #139

Matt Brynildson, the Brewmaster for Firestone Walker and five time GABF brewer of the year joins me this week to discuss hops and brewing Firestone Walker’s beers.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (43:10)

  • Today my guest is Matt Brynildson, the Brewmaster at Firestone Walker brewery. Matt is a five time GABF “Brewer of the Year” award winner as well as four time World Beer Cup Champion. He has trophys and medals in just about every beer category.
  • I do apologize for the background hum this week – they are building a new brewery next to Matt’s office so some of the construction noise came through in the background.
  • Matt and I discuss the Craft Beer and Brewing retreat where we met along with our friend John Mallet who was on a short time ago (pictures here as well).
  • We also discuss Matt’s interesting approach of using hop blends instead of individual hops on most of his recipes.
  • Matt shares how he approaches hop selection which is done primarily by sensory and rubbing of the hops looking for a strong “popping” aroma.
  • We talk about some of the challenges commercial brewers face in sourcing hops.
  • Matt shares his experiences and knowledge about the hop market which is now truly a global market.
  • We talk about how Firestone selects and develops new hops for their beers.
  • He discusses how he occasionally gets to work directly with hop growers and some of the things he’s learned from them.
  • We discuss the new “Luponic” project and how it actually highlights different hop varieties.
  • He also explains the new partnership with Duvel on beers.
  • Matt tells us a bit more about new projects at Firestone Walker as well as the new brewery you can hear being constructed in the background.


Thanks to Matt Brynildson for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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