Malts: a quick visit to our American neighbours

The brewing industry is in full expansion in Quebec and throughout the world. In the United-States, this represents about 5 200 breweries in operation (in comparison, there are approximately 600 breweries in Canada) and slightly more than 100 active micro malt houses on the territory (presently 9 in Canada).

More and more farmers are developing an interest towards malting barley. Rye and wheat are also important brewing grains.

The trend for local production is experiencing a tremendous growth and more than 100 farmers, maltsters and brewers gathered at the Hartwick College in Oneonta (NY) on February 4th and 5th for the 5th edition of the Farmer Brewer Winter Event. The event allows the industry players to work together more efficiently, discuss issues, improve production methods, etc. Participants were mostly from the northeastern United States, but also from Australia, Finland and, of course, Canada!

MaltBroue was present. We came back with the head full of ideas, number of tips to apply and new contacts, who, by their broad expertise, will allow us to continue to offer quality malts.

Alliances that will benefit all related actors, from field to beer

The micro malt houses sector is fairly new. In Canada, MaltBroue and la Malterie Frontenac were the two forerunners when they started their operations nearly 10 years ago. In the United States, the first micro malt houses also have between 10 and 15 years of experience and, until recently, were still fairly rare. One of the sector’s pioneers, Andrea Stanley of Valley Malt in Massachusetts, is the founder of the Craft Malting Guild of which we are now members.

She successfully started an organization that now has numerous allies. Researchers are conducting studies to get a better understanding of the grains and their transformation, demystify the malting process and adapt malt production to smaller equipment, a lot smaller than those used since industrialization.

Hat’s off for this initiative that allows the industry to grow while placing quality and collaboration at the center of its development.

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