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The Malt Board: October/November 2015

Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend Heads to the Empire State

By Aaron MacLeod, Director, Center for Craft Food and Beverage, Hartwick College.The 2016 Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend is moving to the Empire State. This pre-eminent event for farmers, maltsters, and brewers will be held this January 16&17th at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, hosted by the newly created Center for Craft Food and Beverage. READ MORE

Flavor First: Innovations in Barley and Malt for Today’s Brewer

By Andrea Stanley, Valley Malt and CMG Board of Directors. The Master Brewers Association of America (MBAA) had its annual conference in Jacksonville, FL earlier this month. This conference brings together professionals in the brewing industry both large and small. READ MORE

Guild Board Retreats to Fort Collins

By Seth Klann, Mecca Grade Estate Malt and CMG Board of Directors. The month of November has brought some exciting happenings for the CMG Board membership. On November 4-5, we met together in Fort Collins, Colorado, to focus and hone our mission, policies, and strategies for the Guild. READ MORE

Reports from the Field: NDSU Barley and Malting Quality – A Field to Brewhouse Perspective

By Ryan Hamilton, Pilot Malt House.This October, I had the privilege of attending the short course, Barley and Malt Quality – A Field to Brewhouse Perspective at North Dakota State University. Engaging with internationally recognized experts assembled from industrial, academic, and government sectors was both inspiring and enlightening. READ MORE

Craft Malt Event Roundup

Craft Maltsters Guild members may be mostly in North America, but we have a global contingent as well. This newsletter includes an update from a craft malt event in Brazil, and an update closer to home in the Mid Atlantic Region.

Simpósio Técnico de Cevada e Malte (Technical Symposium of Barley and Malt), September 9, Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Submitted by Marcos Obrecht. READ MORE
Mid Atlantic Brewers Symposium, October 9-10, Bethlehem, PA. Submitted by Mark Brault, Deer Creek Malt. READ MORE

Members Corner

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

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Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend Heads to the Empire State

By Aaron MacLeod. The 2016 Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend is moving to the Empire State. This pre-eminent event for farmers, maltsters, and brewers will be held this January 16 and 17th at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, hosted by the newly created Center for Craft Food and Beverage.

Now in its 4th year, The Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend is an immersive 2-day symposium for established and aspiring farmers, brewers, and maltsters to learn from industry experts as well as each other. The event also includes plenty of time for socializing and appreciating locally grown food and locally brewed beer.

In addition to introductory sessions on malting and brewing science for aspiring and beginning maltsters, this year the program features a complete advanced track for experienced maltsters who want to stay at the cutting edge of their craft. Advanced sessions will focus on kilning and flavor development, the latest variety trial results, and best practices for agronomy and disease management for production of high quality barley.

This year’s theme; “A Maltster in the Rye” will also feature presentations that explore the use of rye and other indigenous ingredients from field to glass.

Complete program and registration info can be found at Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend.

Register before Dec 1st to get the early bird rate of only $375 per person.

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Flavor First: Innovations in Barley and Malt for Today’s Brewer

Photo from Andrea Stanley

Photo from Andrea Stanley

By Andrea Stanley.  The Master Brewers Association of America (MBAA) had its annual conference in Jacksonville, FL in October. This conference brings together professionals in the brewing industry, representing breweries large and small. In the spring, I was asked to be part of a workshop with Dr. Mike Davis from the American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) and Dr. Pat Hayes from the University of Oregon to discuss efforts underway to identify distinct flavors in barley varieties for craft brewers. The topic was moderated by Tim Matthews (Oskar Blues), who said “this is a pivotal discussion. Learning how to communicate with barley breeders, growers, and maltsters in developing the malt that works best will be integral not just for flavor innovation but also optimal use of malted barley.”

This renewed interest in flavor cannot be pursued without grasping the historical and current supply side of malting barley in North America. Dr. Mike Davis from AMBA understands this better than anyone. He discussed the drastic decline in acreage planted to barley each year since the 1980s and the process of how new varieties are developed and approved for the AMBA Recommended list. The number of AMBA members coming from craft breweries and craft maltsters has increased over the past decade, and as a result a new discussion has started in this organization about the importance of characteristics like lower enzymes and flavor with the craft brewer in mind.

Asking for lower enzymes in barley varieties for all-malt brewing is not easy but at least it is measurable. What about flavor? Craft brewers want more of it in their barley and malt, but what does that mean and how do you measure it? With the support of the Flavor Six-Pack, Dr. Pat Hayes and his Barleyworld Team at OSU have started to test the hypothesis that different barley varieties have novel flavors that could impact beer flavor, and that “these flavors could provide new opportunities for brewers and expanded horizons for consumers”.

So what does craft malt bring to the party? Craft maltsters are in a unique position to offer three things: 1) localized variety development; 2) innovative equipment and processes; 3) adaptive and new methods of analysis; and 4) collaboration with brewers.

Craft maltsters operate outside the current malt supply chain and work with varieties and processes that can offer the distinct flavors that craft brewers are seeking. We have the additional advantage of working closely with brewers to experiment with varieties and flavor. It is in these collaborative relationships where innovation in our industry will take hold.

My favorite part of this workshop was the end. Not just because I could stop being nervous about my presentation but also because we had a Malt Tasting Table that featured malts from 8 craft maltsters. I would like to publicly thank the 8 malthouses that submitted samples for the Tasting Table: Blacklands Malt (TX), Deer Creek Malthouse (PA), Mecca Grade Estate Malt (OR), Niagara Malt (NY), Riverbend Malt House (NC), Skagit Valley Malting (WA), Troubadour Maltings (CO), and Valley Malt (MA).

Attendees were able to browse the Tasting Table, look at the analysis, chew the malts, and fill in a flavor sheet that organized the sensory experience into malt visual, aroma, texture, and taste. Chris Swersey, Technical Brewing Projects Manager for the Brewer’s Association commented, “The differences between the analyses and malt flavors resonated very strongly with me. I have become aware that craft maltsters are making very high quality malts, suited for making all malt beers, from barley varieties which were never intended to be used that way, with great skill.”

Paying attention to the uniqueness of each variety and how to best express its flavor characteristics should be on the mind of every maltster. Through this workshop I have become keenly aware that this will be a new frontier for malt. Craft maltsters can and should be the pioneers exploring this frontier. We are positioned to explore distinction in varieties through small batch sizes and single variety malts. Understanding flavor characteristics in malt and in the beer it goes into will take effort, expertise and collaboration from us all. Let’s get the party started!

Resources:

Follow the efforts of The Flavor Six-Pack and Dr. Hayes’ research by reading their monthly flavor report.

American Malting Barley Association’s Publications: Barley Variety Dictionary

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Board of Directors Retreats to Fort Collins

From L to R: Andrea Stanley, Seth Klann, Twila Henley, Chuck Skypeck, Deb Kleinman, Chrisopher Schooley.

From L to R: Andrea Stanley, Seth Klann, Twila Henley, Chuck Skypeck, Deb Kleinman, Chrisopher Schooley.

By Seth Klann, Mecca Grade Estate Malt and Board of Directors, Craft Maltsters Guild. The month of November has brought some exciting happenings for the CMG Board membership. On November 4-5, we met together in Fort Collins, Colorado, to focus and hone our mission, policies, and strategies for the Guild.

On the evening of the 4th, we were joined by a number of members from around the front range of Colorado and southeast Wyoming for libations at The Forge Publick House. Farmers, current and aspiring craft maltsters, and others joined members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Directors for a great evening of seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

Sensory research at New Belgium Brewing. Seth Klann, Christopher Schooley and Lindsay Guerdrum at New Belgium Brewing. Photo: Deb Kleinman

Sensory research at New Belgium Brewing. Seth Klann, Christopher Schooley and Lindsay Guerdrum at New Belgium Brewing. Photo: Deb Kleinman

The following day the board was hosted by Chris Schooley of Troubadour Maltings at his malthouse – which thanks to his dual role in the artisan coffee roasting industry also included a bottomless supply of fresh coffee.

The discussions revolved around development of policy, identifying priority strategies and activities moving forward, and future plans for the Guild – all within the overall mission for the Guild. There are lots of exciting new projects and ideas in the works, and the Board will be reaching out to membership in the coming months to see them into fruition.

After a long and successful day on Thursday, Friday afternoon we had the opportunity to tour the New Belgium Brewery. Lindsay Guerdrum was our host and guide extraordinaire, and squired us around New Belgium’s massive malt receiving silo facility and brewery. Lindsey also shared her work as a sensory specialist. New Belgium is doing some revolutionary work in malt sensory analysis, and is very interested in environmental and varietal impacts on flavor.

Those who were able to stay wrapped up their Fort Collins stay with a behind-the-scenes tour of Odell Brewing Company, hosted by brewer/agronomist Scott Dorsch. His excitement surrounding the craft malt industry was contagious, and we couldn’t have agreed more.

Thank you once again to Chris Schooley for hosting the Board of Directors at Troubadour Maltings. We are energized for all of the good things to come over the next year!

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Reports from the Field: NDSU Barley and Malting Quality – A Field to Brewhouse Perspective

By Ryan Hamilton, Maltster at Pilot Malt House.  This October, I had the privilege of attending the short course, Barley and Malt Quality – A Field to Brewhouse Perspective at North

Photo from Christian Stanley

Photo from Christian Stanley

Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. Engaging with internationally recognized experts assembled from industrial, academic, and government sectors was both inspiring and enlightening. The exchange of ideas and knowledge this course provides is essential for the sustained growth and evolution of the malting industry… craft or otherwise.

I returned from Fargo a more capable, more confident maltster and I wouldn’t have been able to attend without the generosity of the American Distilling Institute and the Craft Maltsters Guild. Funded by a donation from ADI, the guild made four scholarships available to guild members who wished to attend the course at NDSU. Scholarship programs like this are of paramount importance to the craft malting and craft beverage industries and I am both grateful and honored to have been chosen to attend.

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Craft Malt Event Roundup

Simpósio Técnico de Cevada e Malte (Technical Symposium of Barley and Malt), September 9, Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Submitted by Marcos Obrecht.
The Simpósio was hosted by Escola Superior de Cerveja e Malte (a brewing school), and Maltes Catarinense (Marcos’ future malthouse). Attendees came to the event from all over Brazil, but mainly south Brazil. Southern Brazil is made up of three states (Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul) which are the country’s main barley growing regions.

Photo provided by Marcos Obrecht.

Photo provided by Marcos Obrecht.

Given the short time we had to put the event up and running we had a great success with it, thanks to the expertise of both Paul Schwarz (NSDU – USA) and Euclydes Minella (Embrapa – Brazil).

Paul kindly gave two talks: The Current State of Malting Barley in the USA: Production, Varieties, and Breeding; and Mycotoxins in Malting

Euclydes (who has 30+ years of barley breeding expertise) covered the results and the perspectives of Brazilian breeding program ran by ‘Embrapa Trigo’.

I also gave a quick talk covering the importance of quality malts in the brewing process – focusing mainly on what might be a varietal mark and what is under maltster control during the malting process and further down stream in the brewing process. The purpose of the talk was mainly an attempt to explain to local brewers why we won’t be malting Maris Otter!

The seminar was quite small (about 30 participants) but we managed to catch the attention of the brewers regarding barley varieties. Most importantly, we started to talk with Embrapa’s staff about the differences of requirements of craft brewers on barley demand and how we could start working together to run trial plots and micro malting trials in the future.
For the next year we’ll certainty have plenty of time to organize a bigger seminar. We will plan a two-three-day event for 2016. The goal will be to bring brewers, growers and maltsters together to help everyone understand their role in the business and what are the drawbacks and pitfalls if any of us can’t reach expected quality parameters.

Photo provided by Mark Brault.

Photo provided by Mark Brault.

Mid Atlantic Brewers Symposium, October 9-10, Bethlehem, PA. Submitted by Mark Brault, Deer Creek Malt.
Deer Creek Malthouse participated in the first annual Mid Atlantic Brewers’ Symposium at the Artsquest Center in Bethlehem, PA October 9-10. This was a two-day conference featuring ten 45 minute seminars from the leaders of the craft brewing industry hosted by the Brewers of Pennsylvania brewers guild. The event was open to licensed brewers, home brewers, beer advocates, and industry supporters. Deer Creek led a panel discussion on Pennsylvania Craft Malt with Troegs Brewing Co., East End Brewing Co., and Greg Roth PhD, professor of Agronomy from Penn State University. The symposium was run in conjunction with the Annual Oktoberfest presented by Yuengling featuring a Craft Brewers Village.
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 Members Corner

If you receive The Malt Board but haven’t yet joined the Guild as a member, we hope you do. In addition to access to the vibrant member forum and the ability to connect with craft maltsters, growers, brewers and distillers, and others on a wide range of topics you will gain access to an ever-growing number of resources that will help you grow your business and the craft malt industry more broadly. Regular Membership is for craft malthouses that are operating commercially. Associate Membership is for anyone and everyone who cares about the craft malt supply chain, from farmers and breeders to breweries and distilleries, and more.

Get a 10% discount if you join before the end of the month. Use discount code “IREAD” when you check out.

Join Today!

  • Find Our Malt MapIs now a map that shows where all of our Regular Member Craft Malthouses are located.
  • 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.
    • Members Only Webinar: Craft Malt Market Survey Results and Discussion with Mellie Pullman, December 10th at 11am Mountain.
    • Members Only Webinar: Craft Malt Equipment Panel and Discussion, February (Date and Speakers TBD).
    • Save the Date: Our Annual Meeting and Happy Hour will take place at the Craft Brewing Conference May 3-6 2015 in Philadephia. Stay tuned for details beginning in the new year.

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