Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometime all it takes is a sunny day in April to inspire someone to plant a seed and watch it grow. For many, this spring is a time of great excitement. Barley varieties have been studied, land is being prepared, and seed is being planted. All in the hope that it will become a special beer that many hands went into making.
Two years ago a brewer in NYC invited his friend Baber to a home-brew club meeting in Brooklyn. Baber was traveling on business from where he lives in Pakistan and thought that he might like to learn how to brew beer. He soon became an avid home brewer, interested in all aspects of brewing, including the malting process. In March 2012, Baber contacted me and asked if he could come visit the malthouse. He was interested in growing barley, malting, and brewing in his home town of Lahore. About six months after his visit I received an email with a photo of Baber in a barley field in Pakistan. He was standing in an impressive looking field of Conlon, mountain peaks in the distance.
Then about one month ago, I got another email from Baber. He was visiting NY again on business and traveling up to Maine to a grain conference. He stopped by the malthouse on his way. Some updates on his progress: piece by piece he had dismantled a Brew-Magic system and taken it back with him into Pakistan, he found an old maltster in the mountains of Pakistan to teach him how to malt in 50lb batches and was brewing beer for family and friends. Pakistani Farmhouse Ale anyone? Attached are the photos of Baber and his homegrown malting operation in Pakistan.
I hope that these photos and this story are inspiring to others. The dedication that many of us feel toward malting and brewing is something our Guild celebrates in the hope that it will inspire.