Local Malt Growers Provide Key Ingredient for Innovative Craft Beer Production
Barn Owl Malt helps craft beer makers create their unique products using locally grown malt. Because malt makes up about 90% of the non-water ingredients in beer, it can be used to create more subtle flavour varieties to meet the varied tastes of craft beer drinkers. Adding to that distinctiveness, Barn Owl Malt products offer local traceability of ingredients, which is an important feature to many craft beer makers.
Co-founded by Devin Huffman, his wife Leslie and his parents, Barn Owl Malt fills a niche agriculture gap servicing craft beer makers in Ontario and leading the way for a growing malt appreciation across the country.
Located in rural Belleville, Barn Owl Malt eliminates the need for brewers to source their materials from outside the province. The grains are sourced from Ontario farmers and never mixed; this means the traceability of ingredients is enhanced, and Barn Owl Malt can support local business.
It was after recognizing the malt supply gap faced by craft brewers that the Huffman family started work on their malt house. They designed and engineered much of their own equipment and repurposed equipment from other industries like dairy, maple syrup and ice production. They completed the malthouse in 2015 and the first batch of craft malt was processed there in February 2016.
Choosing to focus on the traditional method of producing malt, called floor malting, the Huffman’s were able to quickly establish themselves as a reputable source of high-quality malts.
Dedicated to providing a high-quality product, they work closely with their customers to produce and select malts specific to each brewer’s needs. They also take the time to create and carry out specific recipes for each type of grain and each type of malt.
Floor malting is a labour-intensive task. But producing the malt this way means each batch has been closely nurtured to its final product, ensuring the full potential flavour is reached. Each finished batch is run through a series of on-site tests to ensure the finished malts are consistent and high quality.
The quality of the sourced grain is important too. Each grain stream carries characteristics from the variety, the soil conditions and even the weather it endured during the growing season,
Barn Owl Malt is conscious not only of its quality products but of its impact on the environment and its contributions to the local community.
Here Are 5 Ways Barn Owl Malt Supports Sustainability
- Supports local farmers
- Supports the growth of low-impact crops such as barley and wheat
- Uses about 1/3 the amount of water as a conventional malt house would use to process the same amount of grain
- Implemented an on-site biological wastewater treatment plant
- Processes create no waste to landfill: waste products (rootlet matter, grains that are too large/small) are used as animal feed
These Local Brewers Use Barn Owl Malt Products:
- Barley Days Brewery– Picton
- Bobcaygeon Brewing Co. – Peterborough
- MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Co. – Bath
- Matron Fine Beer – Bloomfield
- Meyers Creek Brewing Company – Belleville
- Parsons Brewing Company – Picton
- Prince Eddy’s Brewing Co. – Picton
- Signal Brewery – Corbyville
- Slake Brewing – Picton
- Sonnen Hill Brewing – Caledon
- Strange Brewing Co. – Hillier
- Wild Card Brewing Company – Trenton
- 555 Brewing Co. – Picton