Where did we get the idea of making malt? It all started with the simple desire to settle on the shores of Lac Témiscouata. The owners, Dany Bastille and Cindy Rivard, wanted to find a challenge that was stimulating for them both.
A mechanical engineer by training, Dany Bastille was inspired by this book to take up the challenge of creating a malthouse and producing small quantities of malt, about a tonne at a time. The information in the book convinced Dany that his dream was possible, and he soon began the process that would lead us to our first prototype malting tank. So in 2002, we decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship and move onto the family farm.
When we took over the farm, it was being used for beef production. To prepare for the production of malt, we undertook some major changes: cleaning the barns, pouring cement, installing plumbing, building walls, and more. Everything imaginable happened along the way.
And while we were busy with all that, we built a prototype malting tank – which taught us everything we should NOT do!
Learning to make malt, making sure the equipment will work before moving on from the prototype to a real tank, conducting laboratory analyses… there’s so much to learn, so much to master!
In 2006, we headed to Belgium for a two-week intensive immersion in the art and science of malting, meeting with master maltsters, university professors, laboratory analysis specialists and many others. And, in keeping with our emphasis on collaboration, the trip was a cooperative venture with Louis Hébert, who has since opened a brewery in Saint-Félicien called La Chouape.
Our malting tank was finally ready to begin production and prepare to launch our first products on the market. But we weren’t out of the woods yet! It took almost six months to figure out why our barley refused to germinate in the tank, despite repeated analyses showing that its potential germination rate was over 95%. After much research and several consultations with germination experts, we stumbled on the solution by pure chance. Phew!
But it took quite some effort to introduce our products to the market, as brewers who already have suppliers in place are very reluctant to change their recipes and try something new…
After five years of hard work, we invest in new equipment to meet the booming demand for MaltBroue products.
MaltBroue was honoured to receive the award for the best company in the food processing sector (Entreprise du secteur de la transformation agroalimentaire) at the Témiscouata business gala on October 18, 2014.