On Deck

Podcasts like TV, film and music has its candy and good for you choices. I say that not disparagingly but to let you know that if you want to know more about the agricultural side of beer life, then I have the podcast for you from the Countryman Malt Group.

It’s called the Brew Deck and it is where you can turn for deeper dives into malt, hops and other beer topics. When you tire of the hot takes and beer snobbery, give this podcast a listen.

Malt via NAGBW

Already in 2021, I have improved on past performance by listening to another North American Guild of Beer Writers Zoom. This time about malt. Here are some two row bites of info….

  • Instead of thinking solely of a supply chain, think about the Value Chain
  • barley farming has a steep learning curve
  • only around 120 craft maltsters in the US
  • terroir of malt has not really been studied yet
  • malt has not been bred for flavor to hit attributes that a brewer has designed
  • brewers used to be their own malt suppliers
  • look out for different killing methods such as wind dried

Map that Flavor

from the Draught Labs website

Finding the right word is sometimes extra easy and sometimes excruciatingly hard. And when trying to convey beer flavors, you can quickly lose the thread searching for just the write word.

There are a few thesaurus type beer products out there but this set from DraughtLab have a couple extra things going. One is that they are brewer based so it is not a watered down beer ticker list. Secondly, they do hops but they have two malt maps as well. Since they are industry based, they have bulk pricing. So maybe find a few friends who could use a vocabulary boost.

Only Stout

If you are a fan of malt then Andy Black and Yorkshire Square Brewery have the event for you! The N’Owt but Stout Festival features dark beer on cask and kegs on March 17th.

Three bars will be serving starting at Noon on St. Patrick’s Day and at 2pm there will be a panel extolling dark beers and malt.

This is a ticketed event and it said ticket will get you…
– Snazzy commemorative glass
– Infinite pours of all beer from 12-5pm
– Access to the Brewer Panel

Block Grant

The #independent beer community is more than just the people making beer it is also the farmers that grow the raw ingredients which is why it is so important that the Brewers Association is granting, well, grants as part of their Research and Service Grants Program. The program is “designed to further the development of a healthy and sustainable raw materials supply chain.”

17 grants with an attached $432,658 were awarded this year with 12 going to malt and 5 to hops. I selected 2 that I think will be important in the years to come….

Breeding for Barley Contributions to Beer Flavor
· Partner: Oregon State University
· Principal: Pat Hayes

Hop-Derived Dextrin-Reducing Enzymes from Dry-Hopping
· Partner: Oregon State University
· Researcher: Thomas Shellhammer


Infrastructure isn’t the most sexy of topics but when it comes to craft beer, (as in highway potholes) it is very important. Which is why the upcoming opening of Admiral Maltings in the Bay Area is so noteworthy.

It is California’s first modern floor-malting facility and Admiral Maltings “will produce premium malt at their new facility for select craft breweries and distilleries with 100% sustainably grown barley procured from California family farms.”

You can check out their IndieGoGo campaign HERE which will also help them establish a pub onsite much in the same manner that White Labs has brewing at their yeast facilities.

Now we just need a hop farm with pub like Bale Breaker.

Gluten Free Brewery # 1 – Holidaily Brewing

We begin our May tour of Gluten-Free Breweries with a stop in Golden, Colorado. And it is not the place you first think of, instead we head to Holidaily Brewing Company which was started by Karen Hertz who was forced by illness into a treatment plan that included a gluten-free diet. Instead of forgoing beer, she and her team researched ingredients and taste tested beers and followed what other breweries were doing in this niche market before launching her brand. And they mean gluten-free, they do not allow even one gluten-containing ingredient beyond their doors.

In looking at their list, I decided to go basic and try their standard bearers since they cover a nice range of styles:
Favorite Blonde
Buckwit Belgian
Beulah Red
Riva Stout
Double IPA

Review – Deep Roots from Three Weav3rs

Deep Roots is my favorite beer from Three Weav3rs. And now that they are bottling their stuff, I have the chance to see how the ESB fares in the bottle.
First off, I really like the design. No matter the color, you know you are looking at a Three Weav3rs beer with the wavy lines painted on the bottle. I also like that the beer description is in a nice sized font and not the Stone eye test font.

On to the beer, the aroma has a woodsy-sawdust aroma to it that I really enjoy. The flavor has a good bite of hops that compliments the malt focus that is really the star of the show. There is a nutty taste that I associate with British beers here as well. Maybe a little to citrusy for a traditional ale but compared to the prevailing West-Coast style it is very Great (Britain).


June Micro-Maltster Tour # 3


Colorado Malting Co. is our final malting stop. (Yes, it took awhile to get here, thanks for being patient)  They grow all of their own malt and because their is extra time left in day, malt it too.

They offer the following products to the brewing industry:

Colorado Base Pale
Colorado Pilsner
Colorado Malted White & Red Wheats
Roasted Malts and Barley

They are also planning a barley party (Gerste Gemutlichkeit)! “This is an opportunity to personally witness barley being harvested in the field, cleaned, steeped, malted, kilned and brewed into great beer. Bring a camper and enjoy an evening of beer, food, music, and friends right on the field.”

That is my kind of camping!

2 Excellent Beer gifts

I just had to share two of the best Christmas gifts (Beer related category) that I received this year…

So what you see is MALTed milk balls, a rabbit that is HOPping, some wheat and a packet of yeast. All of the ingredients in beer! A clever sister-in-law I have.

I have had great help in chasing my 50 Beers / 50 States goal but this wins a big prize. My wife found a friend who was traveling in the vicinity of some of my missing states and enlisted her to help me. And did she ever. She got beer from 5 states! Thanks to Ayn for single-handedly knocking 10% of my list away! Unbelievable!