Q&A with Craig Tump, the mind behind White Labs Brewing Co.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve always been a craft beer fan and am passionate about all aspects of making beer, most notably, fermentation! I got my brewing career started back in 2011 at Tyranena Brewing Company, learning under the tutelage of Rob Larson. After some time there, I uprooted for Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, CA which brought my wife and I out to San Diego. After 5 years there, I took a management position with a locally known brewery which led me overseeing brewing at the worlds leading liquid yeast producer, White Labs!
2. Favorite Yeast?
Working for a brewery that has access to a yeast bank of 500+ strains it’s hard to choose just one. If I had to choose, WLP001 California Ale Yeast is my gold standard. Let’s face it, from IPA’s to stouts, you can brew pretty much anything with it. There’s something to be said for WLP001 and how a strain so well defined and known can continue to be a staple in the brewing industry. Consistency and quality.
3. Why White Labs? What makes the White Labs brewhouse unique?
White Labs Brewing Co has a state of the art 24 hectoliter brewhouse that not only provides our proprietary wort for yeast propagation but has a one-of-a-kind fermenter farm of sixteen 7 hectoliter fermenters.
4. Why so many small fermenters?
With the ability to brew on a smaller scale it allows us to craft recipes that you might not be able to pull off on a big scale. For example, in a given month we can brew a west coast IPA, Saison, Schwarzbier, Helles Lager, and hazy IPA. With each of these, we can experiment with a number of yeast that would normally be deemed not true to style.
We are able to showcase our yeast by brewing one base wort, splitting the batch into different fermenters, and then pitching different yeast strains to create side-by-side comparisons that show off the differences impacted by yeast.
Along with our White Labs Analytical Laboratory, our beers are able to get tested to give us insight into how yeast contributed to each beer. By also researching how these strains behave in a real-world application, we can also provide useful tips and tricks for usage.
6. White Labs Brewing Co is started to can? Why the shift to canning?
By moving to cans, it allows our friends and family alike to either order through our website or by visiting one of our tasting rooms in San Diego, CA, and Asheville, NC, and taking the beers to-go. This means you can experience your own sensory adventure in the comfort of your own home or share the mind-blowing tasting experience with friends, families, homebrew clubs, you name it.
7. Do we have any new releases coming up?
Well in the coming months for cans, we have Hoppy Lager, 20C West Coast, Better Haze Ahead Hazy IPA. We are always looking for new ways to showcase our strains with a higher emphasis on some of our unique vault ones. By brewing new styles as well as bringing back some classic styles, we’ll have something for everyone!
8. What does the outlook for 2022 look like?
Busy but very rewarding for the White Labs Brewing Co, we’re at a good point with the kitchen in Asheville, the kitchen soon to open here in San Diego, and our respective tasting rooms in both locations that all continue to need quality beer. We look forward to all the infinite possibilities of pairing our fermented foods with fantastic beer.
With the increasing popularity of our cans, it’s going to be a big year but one I think we have the team in place to take on. I’m excited about what we have in store for White Labs Brewing Company and I think our friends and family will enjoy it as well!