Podcast Episode 119: John Mallett of Bell's Brewery on Ingredient Quality, Understanding Malt, and Designing Brewery Workflows

John Mallett, VP of operations for Bell's, is one of the most respected technical brewers in the industry. Here, he discusses everything from sourcing and evaluating ingredients to maintaining haze in beer and engineering a brewhouse workflow.

Jamie Bogner Jan 24, 2020


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“We’re yeast farmers. We’re trying to set up a party that our guests are just going to rage at,” says John Mallett, VP of operations for Bell’s Brewery.

Of course, the reality is far more complex, but his flippant tone belies the deep knowledge that this longtime brewing veteran brings to the industry. Mallett joined Bell’s in 2001 after stints as a brewer and brewery design consultant, back when Bell’s produced a now-relatively-modest 30,000 barrels of beer. He’s helped the brewery grow in phases to their current production of about a half-million barrels per year, by taking a thoughtful approach to everything from ingredient selection and sourcing to designing the brewhouse for expansion.

In this episode of our podcast, Mallett covers a wide range of subjects, from evaluating hops and controlling the pelletizing process to inspecting malt houses, evaluating barley varieties, reading between the lines on malt spec sheets, understanding what numbers like Kolbach index mean in practical terms, the fundamentals of haze stability in beer, sourcing and evaluating the incredible amount of Centennial hops used in their flagship IPA Two Hearted, and designing and engineering production workflows and brewhouses for future expansion. It’s a thorough, technical conversation packed with the sense of humor for which he’s known.

This episode is brought to you by:

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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].