Mixed Culture Fermentation (CHA Speaker Series)

On March 25, 2021, Mike Foniok from The Establishment Brewing Company in Calgary, AB gave a presentation about mixed culture fermentation.

Mixed culture fermentation has been a part of history since the beginning of beer. This style was on the brink of dying off, but luckily a few Belgian breweries have stubbornly held on to their traditional beer production methods, and mixed culture beer has since gained popularity in the American craft beer world. In this short discussion we’ll provide an introduction to mixed culture methods, and dive a little deeper into how Pediococcus, Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces and Saccromyces work together to create novel aroma and flavour which distinguish these beers from modern quick turnaround kettle sours. We’ll also talk about how wood, hops, and time play key roles as ingredients in the process. And finally, we’ll touch on a few recipe and process considerations for attempting some of these beers at home.

As a National certified BJCP Beer Judge and host of beer judging exam prep courses, it’s safe to say that Mike’s got a huge passion for beer, and the brewing community. With his “don’t discriminate against beer styles” attitude, he’s as likely to brew a classic German style as he is to break all the rules and stretch the limits of what beer can taste like.

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