Interview with the Head Brewer of Bellingham’s Melvin Brewing

 

Melvin Brewing opened up with great fanfare a few months ago. Some may not know this, but Melving Brewing Bellingham (aka Melvingham) isn’t actually brewing beer yet. Melvin beer is shipped in from their Wyoming brewery and the remaining taps are supplemented by key partner breweries.

BUT that’s all soon to change when the brewing system gets installed and David Meadows takes the reigns at Melvin Brewing. We caught up with David and asked him a few questions about what we can expect.

Tap Trail: What’s your name and what do you do for Melvin Brewing Company?

David Meadows: My name is David Meadows and my friends call me Flash. I am in charge of Brewing operations here in Bellingham.

Do you have any formal training in brewing? If not, how did you learn the craft and where have you brewed in the past?

I have a Diploma in Brewhouse technology, studied at 2 years fulltime at VBU in Sweden. It’s a well known Brewing school in Scandinavia. That was in 2005. I started home Brewing in 1984!

What type of brewing system will be installed at the Bellingham location? Anything unique about it, or the brewing system?

It’s a Premier Stainless 7 bbl, custom tweaked to fit the space and look really nice as a showpiece in the restaurant. We’re installing dual hop strainers on it due to the ridiculous amount of hops we use in our IPAs.

When will the brewing system be installed and when can we expect beer from you?

My very first IPA with the Melvin name on it was brewed as a collaboration with Sumerian Brewing from Woodenville. A limited volume of it goes on Tap at Melvin on Friday @ 6 PM! Other than the occasional collaboration our equipment is set for arrival in just a few weeks.
We hope to have it in place at the very latest mid November but hopefully October, once it’s commissioned we will brew.

You used to brew beer in Scandanavia. Where did you brew and how has that experience impacted how and what you brew?

Sweden is a diverse beer nation, with a really nerdy hipster scene. Being geographically close to Europe the Influences come from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Czech republic etc with the Pilsner style being dominate in the culture. My wife and I co-founded a brewery in Stockholm in 2005 called Sigtuna Brygghus. It is now shared with another Brewing company called St Erik’s. So after 30 years in Sweden my Brewing style is heavily influenced by my travels around Europe drinking beer and sucking up the culture. I have also traveled the world as a consultant for Premier Stainless Systems in San Diego for the past 10 years and have learned so much from brewing with so many wonderful people with such diverse backgrounds and cultures. So that has really influenced and educated me.

Melvin brews some pretty well-known beers at their Wyoming location. Will you be brewing those here?

Yes

What type of beers can we expect from you once you’re up and running?

We’re thinking a nice Peach Pale Ale, an incredible Irish Stout or English Brown Ale on Nitro, A custom designed IPA just for Bellingham and of course a proper Pils!

What are your favorite ingredients to brew with?

Malt hops yeast and water lol.

What brewing trends don’t you like? Which ones are you interested in?

I am not a fan of thick Cloudy beers like the trending New England IPAs and I am not a huge fan of Gose, but I believe ever beer has its moment, even the bad ones.

If you had to pick one beer to share with someone that best represented what you do, what would it be? To make it tough, preferably, not a beer you’ve brewed.

Very difficult question but it would have to be Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, I am a smoked beer lover.

How does it feel to be apart of the Bellingham brewing community?

The community here is awesome. I have been humbly accepted by the brewers I have met so far and I am looking forward to making great beer for everyone!

I understand you’ve played in bands before. What kind of bands and music do you like?

I am a guitar player and being Swedish I love Metal. My band used to practice down the hall from Yngwie Malmsteen. we even had one of his drummers in our band once. I have played almost every day for 45 years and I am a huge guitar nerd.

Anything else you can add that might get people excited for Melvin in Bellingham and what to expect?

I am one of the few Swedish brewers who dwells in the realm of “Gotlands drikku”. An indigenous brew from the Viking era that is still made the old school way on the island of Gotland, which belongs to Sweden and is in the Baltic sea. I have studied this beer style for many years and have made some pretty fantastic versions of it through the years. It’s made with Juniper, smoked malt, lots of hops and fermented with Swedish bakers yeast (which I have). So expect that along with Belgians, Sours, Lagers, Ales, Casks, Pilsners etc!

Skål!

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