About This Course

This course includes 53+ minutes of video

Despite the embrace of whimsical and indulgent flavors, the brewing of these beers at Phase Three follows a pragmatic, quality-first approach. In this 53-minute video course, cofounder and head brewer Shaun Berns lays out the details of the philosophy and processes he’s developed in his years brewing these beers at Phase Three and, previously, at nearby More Brewing in Villa Park. 

In this course, Berns details the how and why on: 

  • maintaining a quality-first mindset when brewing with adjuncts
  • types and quantities of coconut 
  • cacao nibs, when to use them, and how much
  • using ground cinnamon instead of sticks
  • developing ideas on using bananas in beer
  • using unusual dessert additions, such as stroopwafels
  • using vanilla in a variety of beers
  • large fruit additions for beers and hard seltzers 
  • types and forms of fruit additions
  • managing ABV and acidity in fruited beers
  • the quality-driven case for pasteurization
  • using a specially designed infusion vessel for flavor adjuncts
  • and much more.


Breweries making barrel-aged beer tend to lean heavily on romance. From name-checking the origins of their barrels to weaving stories of long, laborious boils and careful searches for the perfect ingredients, there’s no story today’s brewers can’t embellish. But for Shaun Berns and Phase Three Brewing in Lake Zurich, Illinois, it’s the quality of the end-product—and not the romanticized mysteries of barrel-aged beer production—that matter. “It’s not romantic, it’s the truth,” Berns says, while behind the curtain of a market niche full of fancy beers. These stouts don’t need fantastic tales to sell. The proof is in the glass.

Shaun Berns

Cofounder and Head Brewer, Phase Three

Course Curriculum

  • 01


    Show Content
    • Welcome, and About Phase 3

  • 02

    Putting Stuff in Beer

    Show Content
    • Coconut

    • Cocoa Nibs

    • More Perspectives: Neil Fisher of WeldWerks on Brewing with Dessert Adjuncts

    • Banana

    • More Perspectives: Yo, These Stouts Are Bananas! With Charles Rapadas of El Segundo.

    • Cinnamon

    • Stroopwafels

    • Vanilla

    • Extracts

    • Fruit

    • Brewing with Fruit: A User’s Guide

    • Let Fruit Beer Be Fruit Beer

  • 03

    Quality + Process

    Show Content
    • ABV + Fruit

    • Blending Fruit

    • Putting Fruit in Beer vs. Seltzer

    • Beyond Beer: The Art & Science of Hard Seltzer

    • Quality + Pasteurization

    • Gearhead: Pasteurization’s Place in Craft Beer’s Battle

    • Infusion Tank

  • 04

    Conclusion, Recipes & Further Reading/Listening

    Show Content
    • Final Thoughts

    • Podcast Episode 206: Shaun Berns of Phase Three Brewing Prefers the Pragmatic to the Romantic

    • Recipe: Modular Craft Seltzer

    • Recipe: Seventh Son Brewing Fox in the Stout

    • Recipe: Perennial Fantastic Voyage Imperial Stout

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