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20 West

By pixelHop Beer Company


The Brewer

We’re heading out west (and climbing to a higher elevation) to hang with Adam from pixelHop Beer Company in Denver, Colorado. “I brewed my first batch around 2005,” Adam tells Spike. “My college roommate discovered it was legal for us to brew beer even though we couldn’t buy it,” he chuckles.

"I made my first all-grain recipe (peanut butter brown ale) in 2018 and won gold medals in consecutive competitions. That sparked my competitive nature. In 2019, I received an undergrad certificate in Applied Craft Brewing from Regis University and did an internship with Little Machine in Denver. I moved to Spike equipment and haven’t looked back.

A three vessel system gives the feeling of brewing commercially. The conicals offer great features at a competitive price. There’s a lot of possibility for experimentation due to the removable lid and number of ports.” 


The name pixelHop was derived from the digital and artistic side of brewing. “Pixels were a natural fit,” Adam says. “With Denver being 5.280 feet high, I also wanted a name which could be abbreviated as “pH” as a nod to the oft-desired mash pH of 5.2.”

When asked what his one piece of advice would be for those looking to get into a new hobby, Adam simply replied, “If you’re over 30, it’s time to commit your personality to brewing beer or grilling meat. Make the right choice…”


The Beer

“I feel a Mexican Lager is a good example of a style which benefits from Spike's conical capabilities, since it can be fermented under pressure to reduce unwanted fermentation characteristics (such as ester production) so you come away with a nice, clean flavor profile.

This beer was a consistent competition performer for me, earning 2 gold medals, 1 silver, and 1 bronze. It also achieved my highest consensus competition score for the year of 46/50.”



What a “sight” to see…

The Why

“This was a recipe I made at the last minute before Cinco de Mayo in 2020. I chose the yeast I did because it was supposed to perform well under pressure and I wanted to have the beer finished more quickly. 

After a diacetyl rest, I recommend lowering fermentation temp to 60 degrees F for one day, then dropping by 2 degrees each day until it's at 40 degrees. It can lager at 40 or below for as long as patience allows. Slowly lowering fermentation temp also helps prevent ester release.”

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