This week on Beer Sessions Radio, Jimmy is highlighting the powerful women defining the craft malt industry. On the show is Jesse Bussard from the North American Craft Maltsters Guild in Bozeman, MT; Kether Scharff-Gray from Mainstem Malt in Walla Walla, WA; and Hilary Barile from Rabbit Hill Farms & Malt House in Shiloh, NJ.
To kick things off, Jesse introduces us to her role at the Craft Maltsters Guild. Then, Hilary walks us through Rabbit Hill Farms and Malthouse, where they grow and malt all their grains themselves. The agriculture side of growing barley is very important, and Hilary discusses the challenges of weather, seasons, and supplying locally. Kether also reflects on the climate out in Washington and the complications of growing dry land grain.
Jesse then highlights the quality control process, which takes place in labs across the country. This work helps develop regionally adapted barley varieties, matching the crop to the environment where it would have the best chance of growing.
Speaking of grains, the gang then names an iconic beer with flavor dependent on its malt, and reflects on reeducating the brewing community about the agriculture side of beer. To wrap things up, Jesse, Kether, and Hilary explain the strong role women have played in the development of the craft malt industry, and the task force the Guild is creating to help work towards more diversity and inclusion.
1. Tonewood brewery ( Rabbit Hill Farm and Malthouse)
2. Wormtown brewery, Be Hoppy
3. Kent Falls, Be-Smoke
Photo Courtesy of Jesse Bussard.
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