John Midgley saw a problem he wanted to solve. While taking a brewing course, he learned that great improvements had been made in the energy and water efficiency of beer making—but not so much in the production of malt. “Malting is incredibly old-school and inefficient,” he says.
His solution is unconventional: Midgley has been brewing small batches at home in Brooklyn, New York, with unmalted barley, relying entirely on a cocktail of exogenous enzymes to do the work that malting normally does. He says he plans to launch his Cool Cousin brand in 2023 by having his lager brewed on contract.