According to Craft Beer and Brewing’s Jamie Bogner, the force behind so many now-classic Firestone Walker beers has won just about all there is to win in the world of brewing, but Matt Brynildson isn’t resting. The brewmaster is constantly looking for new ways to build quality and character into every beer.

Listen to the podcast featuring Matt as he discusses knowledge gained from his year brewing abroad with Duvel-Moortgat, creating 805, quality in hops, Firestone’s entrance into the hazy IPA world with Mind Haze, current R&D with fruited iterations of hazy IPAs, and so much more.

Under Brynildson’s brewing leadership, Firestone Walker has won GABF medals for the past 18 years straight, taking home four Mid-Size Brewery of the Year honors along the way.

A Short Excerpt: Quality of Hops

Don’t have time to listen to the whole podcast? Not to worry, read more about their discussion on the Craft Beer and Brewing website, and read below for a short excerpt from Matt about hops.

While Matt loves hops, he’s particularly fond of swimming against the tide, and finding creative ways of building compelling flavors without resorting to more common default approaches.

“We actually have a harder time integrating a high percentage of hops like Citra and Mosaic into our beers,” says Brynildson. “We’re probably one of those rare West coast IPA brewers [where] Citra isn’t a major deal. I sell more Citra to Duvel to make Duvel Triple Hop than I use in this brewery, if that tells you anything. Over time, we’ve found that rather than it being the main player—because everybody else’s beer kinda tastes and smells that way—it has found its way into more of a niche of enhancing, amplifying, not being the star.”