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The Malt Board: June/July 2015

Guild NDSU Scholarship Recipients Head to North Dakota

By Andrea Stanley. The Research and Variety Committee is please to announce the funding of 4 applicants for the Karl Ohly Malt Education Scholarship Fund 2015. The goal of this program is to get more people trained in how to successfully grow malting barley, and in turn help educate other producers in their local communities. READ MORE

Member Highlight: Phil Neumann, Walla Walla, WA

By Deb Kleinman. In the arid grain growing regions of the American west, it can take over 15 gallons of water to produce the malting barley required for a pint of craft beer. By comparison, it takes about 1.5 gallons per pint for irrigated hops. Roughly 1 gallon is consumed by craft malt houses and breweries combined. Western craft beer simply can’t reduce its water footprint without working with farmers. READ MORE

Recent Craft Malt Event Highlights

Several Guild Members led and participated in field days in the last month. Read about highlights from events in Pennsylvania and Western North Carolina. Have you participated in an event you would like to share in a future newsletter? Please let Deb Kleinman know all about it! READ MORE

Members Corner

Read up on announcements and updates for Guild Members.  READ MORE


Guild NDSU Scholarship Recipients Head to North Dakota

By Andrea Stanley. The Research and Variety Committee is please to announce the funding of 4 applicants for the Karl Ohly Malt Education Scholarship Fund 2015. The goal of this program is to get more people trained in how to successfully grow malting barley, and in turn help educate other producers in their local communities.

The scholarship is focused on supporting individuals in attending the Barley Field School at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND this coming July.

Each successful applicant showed the willingness and capacity to take on this educational mission, and also demonstrated a financial need to support their participation in this program. Three of the 4 recipients are collaborators in Uniform Eastern Spring Malting Barley Nursery (UESMBN).

The following four individuals have been awarded scholarships:

Chris Kapp

Christian Kapp

Christian Kapp is a Research Assistant at Michigan State University as is actively engaged in research and outreach for malting barley in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. His goals for attending are networking with other researchers, gaining a “big picture” understanding of the malt barley industry, and further define his program’s research and outreach goals.

Andy Golden

Andy Golden

Andy Golden is in the special forces in the military but has roots in Western Pennsylvania, where he and his family have planted 10 acres of barley and plans to start a malthouse.

Barley Babies growing at Robin Coffman's greenhouse

Barley Babies growing at Robin Coffman’s greenhouse

Robin Coffman is an adult undergraduate student at Ohio State University working with Eric Stockinger to develop superior winter malting varieties for Ohio. She manages the day-to-day at the Ohio State breeding program. Her goals for attending are to gain a richer understanding of malting science and the specific of developing varieties for malting use.

Camille Boldt

Camille Boldt

Camille Boldt is an aspiring maltster from Ohio and who currently works for the USDA in Fruits and Vegetables. She would like to learn about growing high qulity malting barley and how to integrate this crop on diversified farms for a more sustainable farming system.

As we all know, networking and the cooperative approach is going to drive great progress and positive outcomes for in helping craft maltsters everywhere secure local, quality, malting barley.

We can all assume that lots of great conversations and information sharing will happen while walking through barley fields and drinking beers at night during the NDSU Barley Field School. Cheers to all of our recipients, the staff at NDSU, and especially Karl Ohly for making such a generous and thoughtful donation to our community.


Member Highlight: Phil Neumann, Walla Walla, WA

Aerial view of grain fields and river in E. Oregon

Aerial view of the Wenaha River, flowing below some higher elevation, non-irrigated, Blue Mountain grain farms in Oregon

By Deb Kleinman. In the arid grain growing regions of the American west, it can take over 15 gallons of water to produce the malting barley required for a pint of craft beer. By comparison, it takes about 1.5 gallons per pint for irrigated hops. Roughly 1 gallon per pint is consumed by craft malt houses and breweries combined. Western craft beer simply can’t reduce its water footprint without working with farmers.

Guild Associate Member Phil Neumann has found his mission in life – to use a malt house to reduce the number of gallons his pint of beer needs to get in his belly.

One of his approaches to water conservation is simply to source grains from non-irrigated farms. High quality non-irrigated farmland is an asset to his Walla Walla location and a rarity in the West. Another more delicate approach, based on unique partnerships with farmers and conservation groups, will reduce peak water consumption on specific flow-limited waterways during the critical hot, dry summer months.

The underlying idea is simple, and is possible because of Oregon’s split-season leasing program that seeks to keep irrigators in business but consuming less water, especially in peak summer months.

Phil’s approach – still being developed – is based on a three-way contract between the malt house, the producer, and a conservation group. The malt house pays the farmer for the grain, and the conservation group pays the farmer to use less water in the summer.

The farmer gets paid for its grain and for reducing water consumption in its fields, the malt house gets its grain and credibility as a conservation minded company, and the conservation group restores in-stream flow to creeks and rivers.

Phil and Alyssa (And dogs Homer and Stuart) in front of their target grain growing area (Eastern WA/OR's Blue Mountain region)

Phil and Alyssa (And dogs Homer and Stuart) in front of our target grain growing area (Eastern WA/OR’s Blue Mountain region)

However, the devil is in the details. At the state level, there has to be an administrative program that allows an irrigator to put water rights in-stream for part of the year. Oregon’s split season leasing program is unique in this regard. It would take legislation to change these administrative rules in states like Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

Phil is hopeful that his malt house can be an industry leader in thinking about water conservation throughout the supply chain. Construction on Mainstem Malt should begin this fall, and we’ll look forward to having a water-friendlier pint a few years from now with Phil and his family.


Guild Member Event Highlights

Barn at Deer Creek. Photo: Deer Creek

Barn at Deer Creek. Photo: Deer Creek

Bantlers, Brews, and Barley: A Malting Barley Field Day in Eastern Pennsylvania

Mark Brault, Deer Creek Malthouse. On May 30th Deer Creek Malthouse hosted “Bantlers, Brews and Barley”, a malting barley field day and malthouse tour on their farm as part of Philly Beer Week.  This was a sold out event that catered to farmers, brewers, and beer drinkers alike.  Guests were transported around the farm by tractor and wagon and received a guided tour of malting barley trial plots and the first commercial malting operation in Pennsylvania since prohibition.

Touring trial fields. Photo: Deer Creek

Touring trial fields. Photo: Deer Creek

Penn State University was on site explaining some of the challenges and opportunities of growing malting barely in the Mid-Atlantic, and 5 breweries were pouring beer made with Deer Creek’s local artisan malts throughout the tour. This educational and family friendly event was a huge success and Deer Creek intends to host something similar on an annual basis.


Small Grain Field Day, Western North Carolina

ncsu- field day 2015

Participants at the 2015 North Carolina State University Field Day. Photo: Brent Manning

Brent Manning, Riverbend Malt House. On June 4th, NC State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) co-hosted a small grains field day at two sites in Western North Carolina. The morning session focused on newly developed hard wheat varieties such as NuEast and Appalachian White. These varieties have been successfully utilized in both the local flour milling operations and at Riverbend Malt House. The afternoon session took place at the Mountain Horticultural Station in Mills River, NC near the newly opened Sierra Nevada brewery.

Endeavor 6-Row Barley. Photo: Brent Manning

Endeavor 6-Row Barley. Photo: Brent Manning

Dr. David Marshall of the USDA-ARS walked participants.through the trial plots that included both 2-row and 6-row varieties such as Endeavor, Charles, and Thoroughbred.

Plots were managed with different fertilization schedules and levels, herbicide treatments in an effort to fine tune farming practices in the area. Several experimental 6-row varieties faired well this year, producing plumper kernels than the 2-row Endeavor variety plots (see photo).

Overall, most plots exhibited minimal lodging and frost damage despite an extending freeze in late April. Participants were also treated to a private tour and tasting at the new Sierra Nevada facility at the close of the event. Many thanks to NC State and USDA-ARS staff for organizing the event and to Sierra Nevada for providing lunch!


 Members Corner

There is a lot going on with the Guild these days! Here are some member updates and announcements.

  • Member Survey: The Guild needs your feedback! If you are a current member, please take the member survey and let us know what programs and resources you like, and what you’d like to see happen in the next 12-24 months.
  • Operating & Aspiring Malt Houses – please complete market survey: The Craft Maltsters Guild is excited to embark on its first of many studies of the market for craft malt in North America. Two market surveys will be launched between June and August this year – one for craft malt houses, and the second one for their customers. This will provide the Guild, our members, and the industry with important information on the state of the market below and above craft malt on our supply chain. Data from the survey will be aggregated by a third party and made available to members of the Guild. No individual companies will be identified. Please take 30 minutes and complete the Market Survey. 
  • Find Our Malt MapIt’s time to update the Find Our Malt Map. Have you started selling recently, or added new customers? Help us document the spread of craft malt around the country. Update the master spreadsheet today. There are separate tabs for breweries, distilleries, home brew suppliers, and even one bakery.
  • Member Resources: A reminder that a number of resources have been and are being created for members of the Guild. This includes a growing video library (including the videos from the Annual Meeting which will be uploaded this week), the malt grain contract template, and the under-utilized member directory to name a few. To get to member resources, go to our website, log on, and look in the Members Only tab. To update your membership information, log on and click on My Account.
  • EventsWhile you’re on our website, browse through upcoming events, workshops and courses. If you’re part of an event that isn’t listed, please send an email to Deb Kleinman.
  • Join the GuildIf you are a current or aspiring, Craft Maltster, a brewery or distillery that wants to secure local malt for your production, a farmer, or a fan of craft food and drink, join the Guild today.