We caught up with our master Wolfpack brewers over at NC State’s research brewery for an article in the winter issue of NC State magazine, which should be hitting mailboxes soon. The brewery is housed in the basement of Schaub Hall and conducts research on bioprocessing issues like fermentation technology and automation processes.
Though the research is fascinating, we thought it would be nice to talk with Blake Layfield, one of the brewers and graduate student in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, about the beer the lab produces for campus events. (Alas, it is not for sale to the general public.)
What is the most requested beer you provide? Our seasonals are our most popular. In the fall, it’s our Wolf-toberfest that’s incredibly p0pular. In the winter, it’s our Pullen Porter. If you’re talking our year-rounds, it’s our Brickyard Red. It’s easy to drink.
Since it’s winter, tell us a little more about the Pullen Porter. With most winter beers, you think of high alcohol and a heavier body. You want something to warm your insides against those cold North Carolina winters. [The Pullen Porter] ranges from dark brown to black. It has a pleasant bitterness to it. It’s roasty, and some might even call it smoky. It has some chocolate notes in it.
You have a beer called “Ma Blonde Do’r.” What does the mean? It means our “blonde girlfriend.” …I actually have a brunette wife, and she hates the name of it. It has some very light character. It’s very easy to drink during your summer months or during your sporting events.
How do you come up with the names? We just kind of put things in there to make us think of State. Alliteration is very easy to do. Pullen [Road] runs through the center of campus. We have our Brickyard Red. It’s totally for fun.
And Chancellor Randy Woodson even has his own favorite? The chancellor does indeed like the [Chancellor’s Choice] IPA. He has tasted it …He’s actually had it multiple times, so much so that he requested it at his house for an event with some ACC administrators. I was the bartender. He’s actually a homebrewer himself, so he has come over and looked at our setup. We try to help him as much as we can since he’s the boss.