Episode #19 Charlotte Oktoberfest & Jay Goodwin of The Rare Barrel

Jay_Goodwin_RBJay Goodwin of The Rare Barrel and host of The Brewing Network’s Sour Hour is online with us answering some questions from the gang at Milk the Funk. Learn how he got started, what he has been doing, and what is on the horizon.

2015CLT_Okt_Logo_CMYK_CBMIn the house is Rick Benfield, Bethany Burr, Mathew Taylor, and Jeff Mason of the Charlotte Oktoberfest Planning Committee, giving us the 411 on the largest Beer-festival in the South East. This year’s local charities benefiting are: Ada Jenkins Center, Beds For Kids, Greater Charlotte SPCA, Operation Homefront-Carolinas. How did it get started? What do we have to look forward to this year? Tickets go on sale Friday, August 07, 2015 here: http://charlotteoktoberfest.com/Tickets



  • House of Brews: – August Specials:
    • Code: “August1” $5 off $50
    • Code: “August2” $15 off $100
  • 17th Annual Charlotte Oktoberfest on October 3rd. (Biggest beer fest in SouthEast)
    • Sponsored by Lagunitas
    • We will be giving away 2 pairs of tickets
    • Charlotteoktoberfest.com
    • Premium & General Admission Tickets
    • Ferm Nation booth selling craft beer bottle candles for charity.
  • Salud Beer Shop: – 3306 N. Davidson end of Noda before the railroad tracks.
    • Release the Funk 3 – Funkonia – Nov 21, 2015 – Neighborhood Theatre – Noda

What has everyone been up to:

Joe –

  • Brewed a best bitter and American pale ale.
  • Belgian Quad brew session at HoB for Alap’s going away.
  • 7th annual out of season Barleywine and Bad decision fest at Charles Willett’s house


  • Brewed a Lemon Grass White IPA with Magnum and Citra Hops. Added a touch of coriander for the Noda AIGA competition.
  • Beer Bloggers Conference, Lost my keys, Sierra Nevada was simply epic! personal tours from Ken and Brian Grossman.
  • Asheville Funk, great time, only thing I would change is the DJ playing house/trance music.
  • Brewing a collaboration with Cheers Charlotte this weekend for CLT Oktoberfest.


Michael –

  • Brewed a Lemongrass Ginger Saison for the NODA AIGA Competition.
  • Sales of Spyglass Tours #Oktoberfest Early Bird Discounts for 2016 start August 01, 2015.
  • Dates for the Salud Belgian Beer Tour April 14 – 21, 2016 with the option to add on the 500th Anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot in Munich.
  • Spent a long weekend on the Virginia portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visited 20 breweries including Bold Rock Cider who is opening a location near Asheville very soon.
  • Nomadic Church of Fermentation meeting at Granite Falls Brewing Sunday August 02, 2015.

Daan_CleanUpShawn –  

  • BBC, Funk Asheville, Barleywine/Mead imbueing,
  • Brewed fantasy draft beer.


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Beer/Brewery industry news/updates:

  • A.L.E. Cracking Down!
  • New lager strain?
  • Raleigh Beer Garden – (Applying for Guinness World Record) 366 individual taps of beer, rooftop deck, patio seating and some pretty impressive trees inside. the first level houses 144 taps of North Carolina beers. Upstairs, there is another bar with 222 beers from around the world on tap
  • Three Spirits Brewery planning on opening in September. Near Sugarcreek and OMB
  • Good Road Cider – Also in the same area as Sugar Creek and OMB.

Q&A with Jay Goodwin (Thanks to Mink The Funk):

  • How did you get involved w/ TBN to start “Sour Hour” Did you approach them or did they approach you?
  • What is your blending process?
  • Does he ferment and age all his beer in oak vessels?
  • How/when do you add fruit?
  • Any control on humidity levels or temps while in the barrel?
  • Are you happy with the occurrence of acetic acid in your beers?
  • What has been the hardest obstacle in brewing sours on a commercial scale?
  • How do you maintain your cultures? How do you choose what culture blends to pitch?
  • Do you stagger the bacteria and yeast pitches or pitch all at once? Do you have a mixed culture you keep or do you keep the bacteria and yeast separate and pitch isolates?
  • Have you ever thought about pitching hot to help Lacto thrive?
  • What order is his pitching of lacto and brett
  • Does he make any blends in house, if so what proportions Sacc/Lacto/Pedio.Brett)
  • Your advice on reproducing similar methodology on the homebrew scale?
  • Do you shy away from pedio? It’s in a very small number of your beers.
  • Has you ever worked with any chefs when brewing beers. Where did you get the idea to add rosehips to one of your recipes.
  • Where did he get the idea to blend elderberry and lavender?
  • Where do you get your inspiration for fruit/spice additions?
  • “I like his approach of using various barrels as ingredients in a recipe. How many batches did it take to “build his spice rack” to the point that they were ready to commercialize it.”
  • What types of additions do you add to your water if any, do you adjust the water differently from a golden sour to a flanders?
  • Are there malts you use (maybe higher protein wheat spelt rye etc.) that allow you to retain a good mouthfeel after Brett and Bacteria have had their way? What’s the idea to achieve more body in sours? What is an ideal recipe to get horse blanket flavor? Precursors intermediate compounds and what’s the target compound the gives the horse blanket flavor from Brett.?
  • What are your recommendations for creating a high gravity, sour and clean beer blends such as The Bruery’s Befuddlement?
  • How does the brewer keep the Brettanomyces from chewing away at the residual sugars in sours that are blended with high gravity clean beers?
  • What is the biggest mistake in sour beer brewing!?
  • Regarding the wort you buy; What temp it is mashed at? What is the average OG?
  • How would you best handle processes in a brewery that wanted to do sour and clean beers?
  • What are some failed beer names?
  • Do you self distribute? What would you look for in a distributor or suggest other breweries look for?
  • Where can I buy a rare barrel membership? 🙂
  • Did you get your MTF Bandana yet?