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Episode #015 – It’s Octopuses not Octopi with Eight-Foot Brewing

Julian, Roger Phelps, and Alex Phelps from Eight-Foot Brewing

In this episode, we got to talk to Roger and Alex Phelps from Eight-Foot Brewing Company down in Cape Coral, FL. This brewery has been on my bucket list of places to visit for quite a while now. Head Brewer and Owner Roger is very adventurous and creative with his beer brewing. While the Southwest Florida region is still just in the beginning phases of craft beer, Eight-Foot Brewing is jumping out of the gates with unique beers and offering locals something special.

Below we have provided some show notes to follow along with if you would like. Besides hosting our podcast here on the website, we also have it streaming on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, and Tune In.

Show Notes

1:20 – Where is SW Florida in the beer scene? We learn about the growth of the area and how beer is on the edge of a boom. We also spend some time getting to know Roger and Alex personally.

7:21 – An important factor for this brewery is education and community involvement. The goal is to provide a place where patrons can learn about beers they never heard of before. With a 3.5 BBL system, they are able to be constantly creative and offer something different. They always want to be brewing different styles of beer.

10:27 – How did Roger and Alex get into beer originally. Like many, they started with a typical homebrew kit and it took off from there.

12:30 – Roger was a creative homebrewer. By doing lots of research and experimentation, he was always exploring mixed cultures and has found that it can be easier than clean beers. While the thought can be scary for many homebrewers with good cleaning regimens, anyone can have fun with funky brews. Alex talks about how they treat the beer as art. They are not looking for 100% reproducibility. This gives them the playground to keep being creative.

Getting into some of the beers

18: 04 – We start getting into some of the tasters Roger provided. This first beer leads us into a discussion about Kveik yeast. There is a lot of varying flavor profiles and can ferment up to 105 without off-flavors. Also, this is a Phenolic negative beer which is super unique.

21:10 – We get into the collab beer they did with Kevin from Big Storm in Cape Coral. This is a special release for the 1 year anniversary.

22:10 – Alex talks about the dark sour they have and how much she loves that beer. A good tip with sour beers: There is a 3 sip rule.

24:00 – Roger talks more about some of the unique findings with Kveik. Being super new to America, we are just now getting into all the research of it. Historically, the Norwegian brewers would dip a wood device in the beer to harvest yeasts, dry it out, and then dip it in the next beer.

31:15 – Many breweries end up tossing a lot of experimental batches but Eight-Foot has not had to do that with the exception of maybe a keg or two. Brettanomyces is actually very helpful in cleaning up flavors which goes back to it being easier to work with than clean beer sometimes.

Eight-Foot Community

33:50 – Eight-Foot Brewing does a lot of events and enjoy’s collaborating with local breweries and businesses. One of the fun events is a local brewery scavenger hunt.

35:15 – Learn the story behind the name Eight-Foot Brewing. Alex loves the octopus and was a big inspiration for her with naming the brewery.

37:10 – We start getting into some of the mixed fermentation beers and discussing those. These beers can be very approachable for wine drinkers just getting into beer. The beers Roger makes are very unique and full of flavor. This is where education really comes into play by helping people jump on board with their brews.

43:10 – What’s involved in the creative process at Eight-Foot Brewing? They are very opportunistic. They use quite a few local ingredients in season. One thing you won’t find is kettle sours but instead, Roger does some open fermentation.

47:28 – While doing the interview, Coco was enjoying their house Kombucha which changes continually.

48:10 – We start getting in-depth into the dark sour. A very delicious beer.

51:05 – Roger gets into Spunding which is a unique method of naturally carbonating the beer. This is something they do at times for certain beers.

Thanks for listening

We appreciate you listening to this episode. We had a great time visiting this brewery and you should check it out if you have not done so. Great beer and great people working behind the scenes. For more beer-related episodes I recommend you listen to past episodes like our interviews about hop farming in Florida and local breweries like Tidal Brewing Company.

The Pool Boy

A lover of all things food and beverage related, Ron Nattress is on the constant hunt to learn and experience all he can. A man of many hats, he takes his passion from grain to glass to readers.

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