Getting together with peer maltsters, a must!

Gallatin Valley Malt

Micromalting is a serious business in the United-States! This year, MaltBroue attended the Craft Malting Conference for the second time. With about 120 micro malt houses and a guild that has been around since 2013, it is a perfect example of the collaboration needed for a business sector to grow.

Of course, we like to attend this kind of congress to learn more about new techniques, but also to get approval on certain knowledge and techniques we “acquired by doing”. But foremost, to hear stories from fellow maltsters, to recognize ourselves through their challenges, their failures and their daily working practices …and that feels good!

Their story is our story

We’re not the only ones to experience this! Just like us, our fellow maltsters are faced with challenges when it comes to barley supplies and the quality of raw material. So what do we do with a barley lot that doesn’t sprout? The challenges are even more crucial for micro-malthouse! We don’t have the same leeway that the major malt houses have. And one thing is clear; you cannot obtain good quality malt with a barley lot that sprout badly.

What about the bottleneck for the lab tests… oh yes, it seems we’re all in the same boat! We used to think that this was due to the fact that our samples had to cross the borders and that the process took a long time. NO! It’s the standard; everybody needs to wait 2 weeks to get their results. And we do have a great service at this lab! Is there a solution to put an end to this bottleneck? Of course there is… but it costs 10 000 $… that’s something to think about…

Most of the micro malt houses are a derivate or agriculture. It is an interesting way to diversify the farming activities. But a diversification that is not that easy to implement. For that reason, it is also reassuring to know that we’re not the only ones faced with that challenge! In Québec as well as in Canada, this sector is well sought after due to the increasing popularity of the brewing industry and the emergence of numerous micro distilleries. But malting is a real job and making profit out of it can be quite an adventure.

The difference and local purchase

Why do brewers ask for malt produced by micro malt houses? The proximity has an important role to play in that request. The trend for local purchase is a reality. The new brewers and distillers are more sensitive to this factor than those who have been in the market for a long time. To respond to our clients’ needs, we’ve decided to produce a pale malt intended exclusively to the breweries and distilleries of the Est-du-Québec region, the Malt de l’Est.

For special malts, brewers need a malt that has a unique signature. Of course, there are always the more “traditional” clients that ask for « the Special B » or the « Marris Otter » malts, but more and more, clients tend to realize that we won’t be able to replicate a “specific” malt. We produce a malt that reflects the land we live in!

From our land to your glass, it’s a passionate world out there!

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