My Malt Adventures by Em Sauter

My Malt Adventures by Em Sauter

We asked Em Sauter, iconic and award winning cartoonist to share a bit about her journey with malt and why it matters to her. We hope you enjoy this guest blog post!

I feel like malt gets forgotten.

It's not as popular as hops and not as mysterious as yeast. But malt and barley give beer what people say is its "soul." Why its soul? 

Malt adds so much more than just flavors, which can be vast (from bread dough to dark coffee!), but it also gives beer its color, acts as a filter bed during the hot side of brewing, contributes mouthfeel sensations, is the source of sugars yeast needs to create alcohol/Co2 and helps with foam creation plus so much more!

Malt, I believe, is the workhorse of the beer ingredients and is literally the glue that holds the beer together. Without barley and other fermentable grains like wheat, oats, rice and corn, we wouldn't have beer as we know it and that would be devastating. Pints and Panels wouldn't exist if malt didn't exist! 

I've only been to one malting facility, which was recently when I was in Bamberg, Germany to visit the famous Weyermann malthouse.

Outside the Weyermann malthouse. Photos aren’t allowed inside so you’ll have to visit for yourself!

Weyermann supplies some of the highest quality malts/barley/extracts to all over the world and is a trusted name in brewing. Seeing the barley kernel's journey from the farm to the soaking chambers to the kiln or roasting drum was fascinating as it showcases how many steps (not to mention time) it takes to make a singular malt kernel which is just one of millions needed to make a batch of beer. Each kernel is just as important as all the others.

It reminds me of brewing in general where each person at the brewery has an important job or role to fill. The brewer makes the beer to the sales people selling the beer to the staff pouring the beer for consumers to try in the tasting room; each person works to make the best beer possible just as each barley kernel is a little powerhouse that contributes so much to beer as a whole. 

So don't forget about malt while enjoying your next pint. Beer can't exist without barley and the malthouses who put the effort into creating malt, the soul of beer. 

Love malt as much as Em? Check out her ‘Barley And Me’ tote in our shop now!

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