We have a tendency when traveling to check out places that make something we’re interested in… each time we do, it usually sparks inspiration.

One of my deepest memories is going to my buddy Will’s goat farm. I grew up with this guy and we took similar paths… he also started in the corporate world, found his passion for cheese making and eventually quit his day job, bought a farm, put in some goats and eventually figured out how to make kick-ass goat cheese.

When you roll into Will’s farm, the smell of the grasses sets the backdrop. Getting out of the car, you start to pickup hints of goat… oh, and that can be robust! Then as you walk the farm, pet the goats and – in my case milk one of them – those sounds, sights and aromas sink in pretty deep. Later when sampling the different cheeses from his farm, all of those memories come rushing back to me… it’s pretty cool.

That’s very similar to my trip to Deer Creek Malthouse. Pulling into the old farm and up the dirt road, the smell of the fields set the back drop. After meeting Josh and Mark, I found they shared the similar story of ‘left my day job to follow a dream of growing local grains and use old school malting methods to create interesting malts for brewers to get creative with.’

I can dig that… I thought it was cool to see the floor malting and interesting to see how they cleaned and prepped the malt for kilning; and really cool how they designed and built a custom kiln out of an old shipping container (something I have thought of doing on more than one occasion). But what really connected with me was how they were working with Penn State University on identifying grain varieties that could be grown in our backyard that would be good for the farmer, maltster and the brewer… I’m on board with that.

While geeking out on malt, we started daydreaming of how to use what they are making. In passing, I mentioned that I liked one of their malts in particular but was hoping they could kiln it a little longer for deeper flavor. And with that, Double Dutch was born.

Now we can unveil it with Scratch #217.