Sep 1, 2018
Hops get all the love when it comes to craft beer but malt is getting more attention thanks to a small network of craft maltsters. For brewers in the South, Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, North Carolina offers up several barley, wheat, and rye artisan malts from locally sourced grains. By working with local farmers, Riverbend reduces the average food miles travel for their malts from 3,000 to about 300, reducing the carbon emissions by 4.5 tons for each truckload of grain. (Source) Their small batch grains also offer unique flavor profiles in specialty malts for craft brewers. Much like a craft brewery, independence is at the heart of a craft malt house. The North American Craft Maltsters Guild also requires maltsters to source at least 50% of their raw material from the local area, and produces less than 20 million pounds of grain per year.
Riverbend's Brent Manning and Matt Thompson join us this week to answer all our malty questions. We know malt, but we don't know malt, you know? We discuss what malt is, what makes a craft malt house, local sourcing grains, and what that means for the environment. Gavin McKenna from Atlanta Brewing Company also joined us to talk about craft malt from a brewer's perspective and we sample his Homestand, a Pilsner brewed with Riverbend malt. After our malt talk, we sat down with McKenna and Cameron Davis to talk more about the new Atlanta Brewing Company. You can listen to that episode here.