Brewer Birdwell’s Blog on Malt Rooms & Mega Fans

As a brewer at Deschutes Brewery, I’m often amazed by the array of assignments a workweek can entail.

For example, a random sampling could reveal a day like this:

We descended into the malt room with apprehension and dust masks. How long was this going to take? It was time for a deep clean of our malt room, a three-story nightmare with décor part dungeon/part warehouse. Here, malt is stored and transported to different areas of the brewery which creates endless dust that settles on and saturates everything. No piece of machinery, wall or floor surface is spared from this seemingly permanent residue from brews past. This is basic grunt work, hands and knees floor scrubbing, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, no degree or experience necessary. Yet it was a team effort with everyone pitching in from Brewmasters to interns. Four hours later we ran out of pizza and had funny coughs. This is part of being a brewer.

photo caption: Brewer Brent Baughman hates dust and Summer Shandy's

A random sampling could also reveal a day like this:

An announcement was made and I squeezed my way through the crowd, up to and then behind the bar. An Abyss in my hand and in many of those opposing me and crowding closer, I begin to talk beer. I’ve been flown to Los Angeles to work an event at a BBQ and beer centric bar, a short reprieve from the frenetic pace of the brewery. Beer fans are being treated to a large selection of Deschutes beers and have come for all the usual reasons to attend a beer festival or event. However, they have also come to further connect with their favorite beverage, to have a brewer remove some mystery and provide some more to flood in and take its place. This is my role today and it is cherished because rare is it that something so mysterious and limitless is also so approachable and abundant. And so with beer lovers and creators joined together, I raise my glass for a toast. The malt room isn’t mentioned.

Independence in Art, Music, Beer and Life