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The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Sep 14, 2023

In this fascinating deep dive on the history, biochemistry, and culture of rum with distiller Brett Steigerwaldt, some of the topics we discuss include:

  • How Brett applies his in-depth background in automation, fluid and thermal dynamics, and systems engineering to design fermentation and distillation programs that create delicious spirits.

  • The surprising connection between microbial research conducted on rum fermentations more than 100 years ago and the current quest for rum distillers to create fruitier, funkier, more interesting rums on a consistent basis.

  • The odd tale of “Rum Verschnitt,” a hyper-concentrated ester-bomb of a spirit that made waves in the rum world in the early 20th century and MAY be the reason why Northern European nations are the world leaders when it comes to label transparency.

  • How Brett’s research has unveiled some serious potential for distillers who want an all-natural way to create specific flavors in their rums.

  • And a fun little side project involving a unique Caribbean island and a sea turtle conservation non-profit.

  • Along the way, we explore the interesting tension between technology and traditional knowledge in spirits, the rancid romance of Jamaican muck pits, how to program the replicator on the Starship Enterprise, and much, much more.