Meet Axel Jany, International Customer Consultant for Weyermann® Specialty Malt. BSG got the chance to catch up with him and dive deep into his role at Weyermann®, his experience in brewing, what interests him, and a peek into the heart of Weyermann® malts.
-What is your role at Weyermann®️?
I am the team leader of the Weyermann® International Customer Consultants. The International Customer Consultants support our distribution partners and brewers around the world in all technical questions regarding our Weyermann® Specialty malts, beer recipes and other malting/brewing related questions. The job involves a lot of travelling, visiting customers, attending trade shows, conferences and/or beer competitions around the world. During the time of being in Bamberg we host brewer and distiller visitors in our famous malthouse, brew beer together on our 2.5 hl Kaspar Schulz brewhouse, distill grain spirits such as Whisky or answer technical questions via email. In short, a dream job!
-Have you found any common denominators among Weyermann®️ customers from your travels around the world?
A pride in what they are brewing and the appreciation for quality, starting with raw material selection.
-What are you most proud about working at Weyermann®️?
While brewers visit our beautiful malthouse in Bamberg, I am proud to show them our attention to detail in producing the finest Specialty Malts in the world.
-What’s the most rewarding part about your job?
To meet brewers from the farthest corners of the world and enjoying drinking a beer (or two) with them that have been brewed with Weyermann® Malts.
-What malts have you been most excited about?
Big, bold roasted- or caramel- malts are easy to love, but discovering the subtle flavor nuances of heirloom or terroir base malt varieties such as our Barke® or Eraclea still amazes me.
-What malt do you think warrants more attention?
The Base malts mentioned above warrant more attention, because calling them base or even basic doesn’t do them justice. For example, take our five available Pilsner malts; the flavor difference between a conventional modern Pilsner malt in comparison to a Heirloom, a Terroir, or a Bohemian Floor malt, is amazing.
-Can brewers visit Weyermann®️ in Bamberg?
Absolutely, we do have “no reservation required” walk in tours on Wednesdays at 2 pm in German and English language, plus we do a lot of VIP tours for our visiting brewers from around the globe from Monday to Friday. Whenever US customers are planning their European beer trip and they know that Bamberg is on their travel path, the best way is to contact our visitor center firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a suitable time and date. We are more than happy to show them our beautiful brick and mortar malthouse in Bamberg.
-In addition to Weyermann®️, what are your top 3 places to do/visit in Bamberg?
A leisurely walk through the World Heritage Site in Bamberg with its landmark townhall built right in the middle of the river Regnitz, the old fisher houses called Little Venice, and climbing at least one of the seven hills on which Bamberg has been built. Conveniently most of the hills have a brewery or at least a beer garden on it.
-What is an interesting fact not many people know about Weyermann®️?
Not only are we a malthouse, but also showcase the final product made from our finest specialty malts by brewing beer and distill whiskey in our three breweries and three distilleries on site! That way we are able to offer recipes and technical support in addition to the malt itself.
-What comes to mind when you think about beer in the United States?
My fondest memory of the USA and beer dates back to the late 80s. I was an exchange student in Pennsylvania in 1986-87. After my return to Germany, I started my three-year brewer and maltster apprenticeship.
In 1989 I visited the US again, mainly to see my host family, but was offered a summer job at the just to be opened Pennsylvania Brewing Co. in Pittsburgh.
Wild times back then, I was still under age, on a tourist visa and working in a brewery. The icing on the cake was a clapped-out Camaro Trans Am that a High School friend gave me for the work commute.
Living the dream and enjoyed it tremendously.
-What are some of the interesting trends in beer you’ve seen around the world?
The sour beers from Brazil, all now in the new beer category “Catarina Sour” as well as the new-found love for lagers are two trends that I enjoy a lot.
-What are your interests/hobbies?
Because of being in planes, sleeping in hotels, and eating out in restaurants a lot while at work, my hobbies are more outdoor related; repairing and collecting old Land Rovers, camping, field cooking, and canoeing.
-Any life lessons you learned from beer or brewing that you would like to share?
As a Northern German brewer in the late 80`s, one learned how to brew a Pils, an Export and maybe a Märzen. What the brewing colleagues brewed in Belgium was not part of the curriculum. Thanks to the rising of the US craft beer scene and its global wake, this has changed so much on a worldwide scale. In my 33 years in brewing, it has been a continuous development in old recipe resurrections as well as creating new beer styles. If the world politicians would be more like brewers, with the willingness to share, to experience and doing collaboration brews on a global scale, we would be much hoppier.
-How can people keep up-to-date on not only your travels but with Weyermann®️ (social media, etc)?