Jason Parker
Co-founder / President, Copperworks Distilling Co.
Seattle, Washington
Guild Member Since April 2020

 

 

What is your personal vision for the craft malt community?  

Producers, craft maltsters, and farmers working together to produce malt selected for appropriateness to the environment, quality of flavor, and distinction create new customer demand for craft malt-based products. Craft malt will be valued for its important contribution to products, environmental stewardship, and boost to the local economy, rather than viewed as a commodity.

Why are you interested in serving on the Guild’s Board of Directors (BOD)?

I would like to contribute to increasing the understand and use of craft malt in beer and distilled spirits. I believe my experience in brewing and distilling will help inform strategies, messaging, and tactics to engage brewers and distillers. Personally, I desire a deeper understanding of the challenges facing farmers and maltsters so that I can help my own company and other producers learn to be better stewards of and advocates for their local grain shed.

What skills, resources, and connections do you feel you will be able to contribute to the Guild’s Board? 

I’m a passionate evangelist and a frequent speaker on the topic of using small-farm, locally produced, and craft malted barley for creating flavors that differentiate a brand. I’m well connected in the US malt whiskey distilling community and have contacts in the brewing community from my years as a brewer. I can help connect farmers and maltsters to brewers and distillers and communicate the possibilities for creating products of distinction using craft malts. 

What other long-term volunteer opportunities have you been involved in, including service on other Boards? Please list and describe:

  • Founding member of the Washington Distillers Guild and Officer from 2012 to 2019. Various Committee Chair 2012-present. Help write, lobby, and pass legislation supporting the state’s distilleries, run education programs, and produce events and other marketing opportunities for WA State’s distilleries and associated members.
  • Founding member of the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission, and member 2015-present. Helping draft standards of identity for American Single Malt Whiskey, lobby for its approval by the TTB, and communicate the value of ASMW to producers, distributors, the media, and consumers.
  • Steering Committee member for the Cascadia Grains Conference 2018-2020. Presented at annual this conference the last 5 years. 2019 Keynote speaker. With the goal of strengthening the role of grains in the region’s local food economy, this annual conference brings farmers, bakers, brewers, distillers, brokers, students, investors, policymakers, and others together to share ideas, science, techniques, and networking opportunities.
  • Board of Advisors member of South Puget Sound Community College Brewing and Distilling program 2019-present. Advise on curriculum, equipment specifications for build-out of the brewhouse, distillery, fermentation, and other production processes, and sometimes teach students, both online and in person.
  • Member of MBAA and ASBC since 1990. Speaker at numerous conferences for both. Long-running trade organizations for brewers and brewing scientists. 
  • Member of AMBA since 2018. Joined to learn how this body influences grain policy in the US and to help influence future decisions.

What do you hope to get out of service on the Guild’s BOD?

  • To learn from the craft malting community of their challenges, successes, opportunities, and risks so as to better advocate for their support and adoption by beer and spirit producers.
  • To learn more about, and contribute to, the science, art, and craft of matching barley variety, soil health, location, and environment to the appropriate malting, brewing, distilling, and aging practices to create new and delicious malt whiskey.
  • To contribute to the conversation on research and development of new varieties of barley and their appropriateness in farms, malt houses, breweries, and distilleries.

What is one thing that your fellow Guild members should know about you?

I’m quite social and play well with others, but I’m also extremely focused on advancing locally produced craft malt, especially for the production of whiskey and beer. I may sometimes seem unsympathetic to the current market conditions when I ask others to challenge their assumptions of the commodity grain system. However, I assure the board that I will listen to understand everyone’s issues and concerns and will respectfully strive for a shared vision of the future. When considering the adage “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”, I believe we need to do both. I’ll continue to go fast in my business pursuits. But my real passion is in changing the way the market thinks of malt, cereal grains, and farming, which is why I hope you’ll consider me for a seat on the Craft Maltsters Guild board.

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