Farm, Floor, Kiln: Sawyer Farms Planting

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FARM

“Keep driving! Get to the top of the Mountain!” John Sawyer exclaims as if his man driving the tractor some 100 yards from us can hear him.

The tractor and drill planting rye seed is struggling through some thick mud in the field. Once safely maneuvered out of the mire, we stop to take a look and make sure nothing has been stopped up by the dense, black mud.

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“We’ve gotten rain at the wrong times this year”, John tells me as we get back in the truck. He estimates some 37 inches in the past couple months that’s caused the fields to be too damp to plant -- this crop is going in the ground over a month later than planned. The rain has caused the normally functioning drainage ditches in some fields to clog up which leaves slicks of water across his land.

  John Sawyer

John Sawyer

But this is the sort of hard work and hardship that comes along with maintaining a farm that has been in John’s family for four generations. Recently he’s shown the willingness to meet the ebb and flow of the agricultural economy by planting barley, and now rye, for distillers to use. “The demand is there” John tells me, “and everyone I’ve met in the distilling industry has been so nice and supportive.”

After a visit to the annual Craft Malting Conference, John was hooked on the idea of providing for distillers. He met a lot of other growers like him who had come to the distilling/brewing world through a need to meet growing demand. “I still text and email with a few of those guys - they’re a great resource,” says John.

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John and his Farm have become a great resource for TexMalt . This is the partnership we look for - a fellow Texan providing high quality product that is made with the same care and attention to detail we pride ourselves on.

View on to see the rest of our day on the farm and we’ll be back soon with more stories from the Farm, the Floor, and the Kiln.

Austin & Chase

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Meet Juan Corrales, Assistant Maltster

 Juan, or Hulk…we’re not sure.

Juan, or Hulk…we’re not sure.

Name

Juan Corrales

Job Title

Assistant Maltster

 Juan and his wife Kristen enjoying a great Texas made beer.

Juan and his wife Kristen enjoying a great Texas made beer.

What brought you to TexMalt?

I homebrew and I saw TexMalt pop up on the scene and introduced myself to Chase.

Which TexMalt product is your favorite?

Our Pilsner malt for now, but I enjoy working on new recipes.

Favorite Beer or Spirit made with TexMalt Products?

Acre Single Malt

What do you like to do when you're not at work?

Brew beer, travel.

Favorite Band?

Led Zeppelin

It's the end of a long day of tossing grain bags, what drink do you reach for?

Whatever we have on tap.

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Meet Chase Leftwich, Co-Founder

 Chase probably doing something important.

Chase probably doing something important.

Name

Chase Leftwich

Job Title

Co-Founder, Operations Director

 Chase and Austin checking product.

Chase and Austin checking product.

What brought you to TexMalt?

Being from an ag community such as Lubbock, TX and spending a lot of time on my Grandmother's farm growing up I have always had a special place in my heart for the hard working farming families in Texas. When I got into home brewing the question was always there, where do these ingredients come from and why can't they be sourced locally? From knowing farmers like the ones in the Texas panhandle I knew that quality grains for malting could be grown. It was up to Austin and me to learn the intensive process to make these grains available for craft breweries and distilleries. Today we have a network of incredible farmers who grow a variety of grains which we turn into a quality malted product that results in a super unique and delicious end product.

Which TexMalt product is your favorite?

My favorite TexMalt product would have to be the malted rye. One of the main varieties of rye we malt is Elbon which the unique character of rye coupled with the climate and soil of the Texas pan handle makes a very flavorful malt. If you like Rye whiskys or beer our malted rye will take it to the next level.

Favorite Beer or Spirit made with TexMalt Products?

My favorite so far is a Roggenbier beer made by our assistant maltster Juan Corrales. The grain bill for that beer was 50% of our Munich malt and 50% of our Rye Malt.

People would be surprised to know:

How much shoveling we do. No need for a gym membership when you're a maltster.

 Chase and Wife, Breck.

Chase and Wife, Breck.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?

Relaxing with the family is my favorite post-work activity.

Favorite Band?

Led Zeppelin

Favorite Movie?

Braveheart

It's the end of a long day of tossing grain bags, what drink do you reach for?

Can't ever pass up good glass of bourbon. There are a lot of distilleries in Texas these days making some good stuff.

Where are you from?

Lubbock, TX

Social Media Handle:

@chaleftw

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Meet Austin Schumacher, Co-Founder

 Austin’s favorite workout.

Austin’s favorite workout.

Name

Austin Schumacher

Job Title

Co-Founder, Business Development, Truck Driver, Bagging Seamstress

 Co-Founders Chase and Austin

Co-Founders Chase and Austin

What brought you to TexMalt?

A passion for home brewing and the initial shock of learning about the lack of Texas produced malted ingredients. I wanted to brew a beer with locally sourced grains. I also started to realize the impact the malting process can have.

Which TexMalt product is your favorite?

Our Texas Pilsner Malt. The terroir of this central Texas grown barley combined with our traditional floor malting practice creates a fantastic and unique flavor profile. Earthy, Crisp, Sweet.

Favorite Beer or Spirit made with TexMalt Products?

The Single Malt Whiskey from Acre Distilling that is made with 100% of our Texas Wildfire Pale Malt is maturing beautifully. I look forward to seeing how it has changed every time I am over for tasting.

People would be surprised to know:

I am allergic to basically every part of the malting process that I come into contact with everyday.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?

Cooking. My wife and I both love to experiment in the kitchen and are always trying new recipes and tweaking our favorites.

 Austin with his Wife and Daughter.

Austin with his Wife and Daughter.

Favorite Band?

Tough question. I listen to everything from Deep House and Electronic to Texas Country and Classic Rock. I'll go with Lynard Skynard. #legends

Favorite Movie?

Poolhall Junkies

It's the end of a long day of tossing grain bags, what drink do you reach for?

Funkwerks Saison, I find it refreshing and oh so satisfying

Where are you from?

Houston, Texas

Social Media Handle:

@schumacher1111

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