Mark Hastings of Überbrew and By All Means Continues to Elevate Black IPA and American Wheat
Montana is known for its grain, and Mark Hastings of Überbrew and By All Means is in the thick of it. Wheat is the most-grown crop statewide while barley is third; despite their ubiquity, Hastings steered clear of Montana’s brewing grains for the first two decades of his brewing career. Primarily grown for the needs of macro brewers, these grains never quite nailed the flavor and technical performance he sought. However, recent strides in equipment for craft maltsters have opened the door for higher-quality malt at a smaller scale, and he’s slowly been making shifts.
It’s one thing to change malt in a beer with few expectations, and it’s another to do that in a beer with a long medal-winning pedigree, but that’s exactly what he did with the malt in Überbrew’s White Noise, a American-style wheat beer that’s won two silvers and two golds at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup from 2014 through 2022. He’s won a similar number of accolades for the black IPA Alpha Force Double Tap—GABF golds, bronze, silver, as well as top honors at Alpha King.
In this episode, Hastings discusses:
- Avoiding darker malt flavors in black IPA
- Shifting base malts from Maris Otter and Golden Promise to pilsner and Vienna
- Dialing in recipes using local craft malt
- Building hop combos using spider plots of flavors and aromas
- Fermenting everything from wheat to clear IPA with London Ale III
- Avoiding the “donut effect” in hoppy beers
- Selecting malt for grassiness in wheat beer
- Building a stable haze
- and more…