(Alameda Point, CA) – A bastion for innovation within the artisanal beverage and food industries, the San Francisco Bay Area welcomes its latest trailblazing entrepreneurial venture, Admiral Maltings. California’s first modern floor-malting facility. Admiral Maltings harkens back to pre-Prohibition days when malt houses sourced local barley for regional breweries. Beginning in April 2017, Admiral Maltings will produce premium malt at their new facility on Alameda Point for select craft breweries and distilleries with 100% sustainably grown barley procured from California family farms.
Malt is the backbone and soul of craft beer. Today, most malt is mass-produced by a few very large manufacturers. Only a handful of malting companies around the world still practice the art of floor-malting, wherein small batches of grain are steeped in water, allowed to germinate in a thin layer, gently turned, then dried and cured in a shallow loaded kiln. Floor-malted grain is revered by craft brewers and distillers for its flavor, aroma and character. Admiral Maltings will combine traditional methods with modern quality control technology to produce consistently distinctive malt.
Much of the malt used in the U.S. is imported and craft breweries often look to Germany and England for premium quality malt. Admiral Maltings connects the California craft brewing community with local farmers, creating new opportunities and benefits for both. With access to fresh, top quality ingredients, brewers are able to advance their craft while strengthening community ties and reducing their carbon footprint. In working with local farmers, brewers help create a new market for barley, wheat and other grains which are well suited to California’s arid climate and can be grown without irrigation. All of the grain sourced by Admiral Maltings is grown using organic or no-till practices to promote ecological health.
Admiral Maltings is comprised of three stalwart Bay Area craft beer and malt experts. Ron Silberstein is the owner and founding brewmaster of ThirstyBear Organic Brewery. A founding member of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, Silberstein is a graduate of the inaugural class of the American Brewers Guild and a graduate of the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre’s (CMBTC) Malt Academy — the only such course in North America.
Dave McLean is the founder and brewmaster of Magnolia Brewing Company. A founding board member of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, McLean has a diploma from the UC Davis Master Brewers Program and is a diploma member of the London based Institute for Brewing and Distilling.
Overseeing the day-to-day malting operations at Admiral Malting is Curtis Davenport. With a background in organic farming, Davenport built a small-scale malting system in 2013 to malt and sell his crops to craft brewers and artisan bakers in Southern California. He has completed malting courses at the Canadian Malt Barley Technical Centre and North Dakota State University.
“I run an organic brewery focused on sustainability. We have been frustrated by the lack of local ingredients,” says Ron Silberstein. “Since 2010, I’ve questioned why we have to buy malted barley grown in far away places such as Canada, England or Germany. We have some of the world’s best farmland within 60 miles of San Francisco, and barley is a drought tolerant crop. Over the past few years, we’ve established a network of California farmers who grow sustainable malting quality barley. We’re proud to keep the art of floor malting alive as it’s currently practiced by only a handful of malting companies across the globe. In the spring of 2017, California brewers will be able to brew with our premier malts and beer lovers will be able to discover the flavors of traditionally floor malted barley. The Bay Area’s best beers are about to get even better!”
Admiral Maltings’s Indie GoGo campaign invites Bay Area craft beer enthusiasts an opportunity to help with the production of an onsite pub at the new facility. The differing support levels offer tours, 50 lb. bags of malt for homebrewers, pub memberships, malthouse parties, and more. For more information, please visit: indiegogo.com/projects/admiral-maltings-local-beer#
About Admiral Maltings
Admiral Maltings produces premium quality malt using traditional floor-malting methods and sustainably grown, locally sourced grain. With our focus on process, terroir and grain variety, Admiral Maltings seeks to meet the changing demands of a growing craft beer and spirits industry by offering creativity, choice and innovation to craft brewers and distillers. Admiral Maltings fosters a robust connection between craft brewers and distillers and their local agricultural community.
This coverage is made possible in part thanks to the generous support of Visit California, which flew us out to Northern California to tour one dozen breweries across San Francisco, Sacramento, Berkeley, Oakland and Sonoma. For more information on California’s craft beer boom, visit here.