Podcast Episode 236: Forager’s Austin Jevne Embraces Nuanced Flavor in Fruity Seltzers, Barrel-Aged Sours and Stouts

In Rochester, Minnesota, the forager brewpub that Austin Jevne founded with life and business partner Annie Henderson continues its mission to provide compelling beer and food to the community. However, Jevne’s Humble Forager brand has set a bigger goal to bring its authentic, grounded approach to great-tasting beer to a wider national market.

While Forager brews on a seven-barrel system for local fans, Humble Forager is working producing 100-barrel batches at partners such as Octopi in Madison, Wisconsin, or Fair State Collective in Minneapolis. A continuous line that spans their entire production is focused on real ingredients and real fruit, used thoughtfully and expressively, whatever the style. Whether it’s fruit beer, hard seltzer or stout, the approach is the same: no extracts, high quality ingredients and a step-by-step approach to technique to get the best possible expression from the chosen ingredients. .

In this episode of the podcast, Jevne discusses her approach to recipes and the process, including:

  • creating real hard fruit seltzers that are stable for up to 18 months.
  • using a three-step pasteurization process to temper and stabilize fruit in fast acids and hard seltzer
  • layering fruit flavors with other herbal and tea notes to create flavors that evolve through the sip
  • seeking the highest quality fruit from a variety of sources
  • find the best sources of flavorful vanilla
  • working with pectin-rich fruits
  • taking into account the expression of acidity in fruity hard seltzers and sour beers
  • create a library of stout recipes and cask types to create options when mixing
  • using a concentrated ingredient-by-ingredient infusion method to carefully add flavor to stouts
  • deploy mixed coffee brewing methods using both coffee beans and ground coffee for different flavor contributions

And more.

“A lot of people assume that fruity acids have a similar shelf life to hazy IPAs,” says Jevne. “And absolutely they do, from certain breweries. But if you have a process that changes that, we have an 18-month shelf life with flavor stability in our fruit acids, and people look at our shelf life at the bottom of the cans and sometimes get a little worried. But we did several tests on the longevity of where this flavor is stable, and because of that [multi-step pasteurization] process, our beers are great and can sit in the back of your trunk on a hot Texas summer day, and they won’t explode.

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