“Captain” Eli Palma is no stranger to Homebrew Summer. At least one of his homebrew recipes has been selected in each of the past three years since we launched the program. The professional brewer that selected his recipe this time around was Kris Ketcham, the veteran at the helm of Stone Brewing‘s Liberty Station brewpub. He was intrigued by the notion of amping up an American light lager with the addition of New Zealand hop varietals. If you are, as well, you can take a look at the recipe for this beer before heading over to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station in Point Loma to taste test it for yourself.
New pro-am beers will debut on a weekly basis throughout the summer, so be sure to check back with San Diego Beer News on a regular basis (or subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter and we’ll send all the recipes and release information straight to your inbox). Cheers and happy homebrewing!
How long have you been homebrewing and when did you come up with this recipe?
I’ve been homebrewing since around high school, but didn’t really start making stuff I was proud of until about 15 or 16 years ago. I believe I came up with this recipe around 2016, but I didn’t actually brew it until a few years later.
What led you to submit this recipe for consideration?
I wanted to submit something that satisfies that hoppy craving, and after a few beers you’re still able to jump on that lawnmower safely. It was surprisingly hard to find a beer that makes…the cut. Yeah, there are loads of session IPAs out there, but most taste like they’re trying too hard to balance the beer out. I basically wanted an American light lager, but dry-hopped with my favorite New Zealand hop varietals, and I wanted a lot of it. I felt like other folks might want to drink this type of beer on hot summer days, as well.
What was the brew day like?
The assistant brewer called in sick the day of our collaboration, so I was fortunate enough to get dirty and do some real hands-on brewing. Kris had me keg-washing all day…I’m kidding. With the building being “historic” (i.e., you can’t open the windows), it tends to get pretty hot and swampy in there. Hats off to Kris for all the hard work he’s putting in, especially during the summer heat.
Liberty Station Brewing Manager, Stone Brewing
Why did you select this recipe for Homebrew Summer?
While there were plenty of really great homebrew recipes to choose from, Eli’s recipe stuck out the most. I’ve really been into hoppy lagers of late, and the fact that Eli used New Zealand hops made me even more intrigued. I’ve really been wanting to take a trip out to New Zealand, so it all aligned.
How did the brew day go?
It was great other than a very slow lauter, which can be expected when around 25% of the grain bill is flaked rice. Eli did everything that was asked of him and he sweated away on the manual labor. I enjoy free labor…ha!
What is a valuable piece of advice you can lend to homebrewers?
Don’t let one recipe define you as a brewer. Keep innovating and brewing different beers.