Ryan Hamilton
Professional Aide, Michigan State University
Director, Michigan Barley Association
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Guild Member Since 2015



What is your personal vision for the craft malt community?  

My vision for the craft malt community is one that seeks to expand inclusivity and equity in agriculture-based value chains. Craft malt, as a movement and an ethos, has made significant progress in empowering those who grow the crops upon which our food and beverage systems rely. Personally, I want to see craft malt continue to demonstrate that re-localization of food and beverage value chains is not only possible but the only sustainable strategy.

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

Over the past 5+ years, the craft malt community has evolved into something more inspiring, resilient, and audacious than I ever could have predicted. As with everything, change seems to be the only constant upon which we can rely. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the enthusiasm, dedication, and love that I see in the community. If anything, these things have increased, and that’s what keeps me involved and engaged. 

What working groups would you be interested in joining? 

  • Webinars
  • Conference & Events
  • Technical 
  • Governance & Elections 

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

My current position at Michigan State University has me engaged in craft malt & beverage industry outreach and extension work, which has fostered deep connections to research and academia at all levels: local, regional, national, and beyond. Co-founding a craft malt house, helping to build barley value chains, and advocating for barley growers in Michigan has given me skills and insights that are of critical importance to building sustainable, equitable relationships. 

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

Since 2015, I have sat on advisory boards for two collegiate brewing education programs, one of which I graduated from in 2018. I have been an election worker since November 2016 as well, and volunteer for the NAACP to help persons of color access voting information and assistance. In the early days of the Guild, I served on the Research & Variety and Craft Malt Analysis committees. 

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

I’m driven to serve, in whatever ways I am able, the community that has welcomed me unconditionally.

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

I strive to see, hear, and meet everyone with compassion, honesty, humility. We all have incredibly rich and nuanced contexts in which we live, and I try my best to meet everyone where they’re at, not where I think they’re at or want them to be. 

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