210: Lacie Bray and Andy Coates of Ozark Beer Prove Accessibility Doesn’t Mean Sacrificing Character

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When Lacie Bray and Andy Coates, the founders of Ozark Beer in Rogers and Bentonville, Arkansas, began planning their brewery, it wasn’t yet legal to sell beer in Benton County and you could count the number of breweries in the state on one hand. But cultural and business changes were underway in the home of retail giant Walmart, and over the past decade they’ve grown in concert with the population and the culinary/hospitality world around them.

In this episode, Bray and Coates discuss:

  • Designing beer for a market new to craft beer
  • Working through the challenges of difficult alcohol laws
  • Dialing in flavors that are attractive and interesting without being overwhelming
  • Ingredient choices for longevity in packaging
  • Using the Edinburgh strain as their house ale strain
  • The value of Chinook in amplifying the character of other hops
  • Creating craft lager that’s distinctive without referencing European styles
  • Finding language that makes craft styles appealing to broad audiences
  • The construction of BDCS (Bourbon Double Cream Stout), their annual barrel-aged stout
  • The importance of fresh barrels

and more.

For more on Ozark Beer, see the cover story in the Fall 2021 issue of the Brewing Industry Guide.

*This episode is brought to you by: *

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