I've known John for many years as a fellow GABF and World Beer Cup Judge. He is one of the smartest people I know and could probably brainstorm his way out of any brewing or brewery engineering problem. Call Larry Bell a genius for hiring John Mallett and you wouldn't be wrong!
The last time I visited Bells was in 2000 when I was Eccentric Day guest brewer. They definitely use the double-size mash/lauter for their Eccentric Day Brew. If you are in Kalamazoo around St. Nicholas Day in December, be sure to dress in your whackiest costume and join in the fun at Bell's Eccentric Cafe on Eccentric Day.
John and Brewhouse Manager Ken Belau drove back to the Eccentric Cafe for lunch where we ran into Bell's brewer Tom Bohs enjoying a pint on his day off. (Photo at top of page, L to R: John, Teri, Ken and Tom.) Tom remembered me from the 2000 Excentric Day brew and party. That night I played card games with Anna and Linus while John made dinner.
The next day (July 26) I was scheduled to drive to Dexter, Michigan to meet with Ron Jeffries, Owner/Brewmaster of Jolly Pumpkin Brewing Company, but I was getting worn down with the pace of the trip. Therefore I elected to stay another day with John and his lovely family, sleep in (a lot!), do laundry and blog. So that's what I did. The Mallett household in Kalamazoo was a nice relaxing stop for me and I needed it.