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The No-Boil Challenge

Inspired by traditional farmhouse brewing, and further propelled by positive results—including increased sales—some brewers say they’re getting better beers without boiling.

Don Tse May 29, 2023 - 10 min read

The No-Boil Challenge Primary Image

Southern Tier recently publicized its Nu Haze IPA as being brewed with a special no-boil process. Image: Courtesy Southern Tier.

For Thomas Palmer at Mondo, it started with a dare.

Palmer, cofounder of the brewery in South London’s Battersea neighborhood, was hosting his friend Anders Abrahamsson—founder and brewer at Sweden’s Åre Bryggcompagni—for a collaboration in 2019. In the early stages of producing their double dry-hopped pale ale Captain Anders, Abrahamsson suggested they skip the boil altogether.

Palmer was game—he loves a good experiment. Like many pros, he started as a homebrewer, and he still likes to embrace that spirit when he can. “I decided that homebrewing meant I was going to try everything,” he says. “I keep the fundaments of brewing practice, but otherwise I question everything.”

On the other hand, Palmer’s head brewer at Mondo, Daniel Schappert, was trained in the German tradition. He was less than enthusiastic about the no-boil idea. However, he relented—and Captain Anders would turn out to be Schappert’s favorite beer of the year.

These days, about 80 percent of Mondo’s IPAs are not boiled at all.

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Don Tse is an internationally recognized beer writer and beer judge, working from his home base in the middle of North America’s barley belt.