Thank you for attending!
The 2018 Craft Malt Conference will take place February 3rd and 4th, 2018, in Asheville, North Carolina at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
Members may access the presentation slides under the Educational Resources page in the Members Only section here.
About the Craft Malt Conference
The 2018 Craft Malt Conference will feature workshops and seminars on the latest research, topics, and best practices relevant to those in the craft malt supply chain.
View the 2018 Craft Malt Conference Schedule
Our room block at Aloft Asheville Downtown has sold out.
Transportation will not be provided from downtown Asheville to the conference, but there are several transportation options available, including rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft.
Other lodging options in or near downtown Asheville include:
Getting to Asheville
The Asheville Regional Airport is the main airport of the Asheville region with direct flights from ten US cities, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Newark, New York City, Orlando, Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers, St. Pete/Clearwater, and Washington D.C./Baltimore.
Getting into Asheville early? Sign up for one of our pre-conference activities below! Please note that only 2018 Craft Malt Conference attendees may register for the pre-conference activities – they are not open to the general public.
Registration for pre-conference activities is required.
Dr. Patrick Boivin
Dr. Patrick Boivin is audit, training and technical manager at IFBM. He is Visiting Professor in malting and brewing at University of Lorraine and Harwich College. He received BSc in Biology and Biochemistry from Rouen University (1983), MSc in Biotechnology from Compiègne Technology University (1984) and PhD in Microbiology, Enzymology and Bioconversion from Compiègne University (1987). He was Post-Doctoral Fellow at Baylor University, Texas, U.S.A., 1987-1989. He received Master in Business and Administration in 1998 from French Institute of Management. Since 1989 he has been working at IFBM as scientific Director. He is lecturer of IFBM craft and industrial malting and brewing training program. He has been accredited trainer by IBD and can conduct courses in French and English. He has published several papers, reviews and patents, particularly in malting process.
Name : Hugh Patrick ALEXANDER
Date of Birth: 16th March 1954
Nursery school: Lusaka, Zambia (really good potato soup)
Primary school : Kaduna, Nigeria (learnt the Nigerian National Anthem)
Preparatory school: Falconbury, Bexhill-on-Sea 1963 to 1967 (school now gone, hooray!)
Public school: Oundle School for Boys, near Peterborough 1967 to 1971 (T.I.Thomas, brilliant teacher)
Gap year: Lagos, Nigeria (learnt to paint walls, watched paint dry, thought about empty space)
University: Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh 1972 to 1976.
1/. Survived prep school.
2/. Presented an exhibition of flora collected in Iran at the Natural History Museum, London.
3/. A levels in Chemistry, Physics and Biology.
4/. 1st class honours degree in Brewing and Biochemistry.
5/. Brewing prize for most promising student (still never got the book token for it, must write and complain)
6/. Found someone who loved me and is still with me.
7/. No.6 is reciprocated and all other achievements are as transient as the dust on a butterfly’s wing.
1/. Glaxo Research. 1976 to 1977. Junior scientific officer. Drug metabolism unit.
2/. Harp Lager. Part of the Guinness group. 1977 to 1978. (made redundant due to company reorganisation) Research scientist with responsibilities for plant trouble shooting, raw materials research and innovation methods. Started building scientific apparatus.
3/. Crisp Malt Group. 1978 to 1984. Chief chemist. Responsible for efficient running of the group quality control laboratories, plant trouble shooting, fundamental research into the biochemistry of malting. Continued making laboratory equipment including nitrogen analyser, scanning nephelometer, Rudin head retention automation, mashing baths. Left in 1984 to start out on our own as laboratory equipment prototype makers.
4/. Malted Grains. My partner and I built our first pilot scale malting equipment to make and supply malted wheat and oat products for the baking industry. This was a 50 kg plant and included a flaking mill and Infra-red toasting device.
5/. 1986. Built our first commercial micromaltings for JP Simpsons at Berwick-on-tweed. Customlabs is formed.
6/. Since then have supplied micromalting equipment all over the world, and now venturing into small and medium scale malting plants, principally as pilot plants for large multinationals.
Adam is a Sales Engineer at Integrated Process Engineers & Constructors, Inc. in Fort Atkinson WI. IPEC specializes in custom modular process equipment for biotech, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, biofuel and other industries. He has been involved with the research, development and engineering of IPEC’s Craft Malting systems since 2013. He holds Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees in Biological Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has experience in mechanical, electrical, civil & hydrogeological engineering. Adam enjoys helping craft maltsters achieve their goals, and especially sampling the beverages in which their products are used.
I come from a family who has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. My ancestors moved to Virginia from Scotland in the mid-1800’s with the plans to start a silkworm farm that would provide silk thread to the textile mills in the nearby town of Danville, Virginia. However, this plan was short lived as blight struck the Mulberry trees that were the sole food source for the silkworms in the region which abruptly ended their plans for silk production. As a result, my ancestors took to more traditional means of farming in the area raising flue-cured tobacco which was the main cash crop of the region. It was in the 1950’s when my grandfather began to diversify the operation by purchasing his first seed cleaning machine and offering his harvesting and cleaning services to the surrounding community. When my father became the main operator of the farm, he ceased growing flue-cured tobacco and established a cash hay market while expanding the seed and grain segment of the operation. He also transitioned the farm to a 100% no-till cropping system in the late 1980’s which continues to this day.
I am the 5th generation to care for the family farm and the 3rd generation to produce and condition certified seed. I was active throughout my school years with the Future Farmers of America serving as State Vice President and received the Star State Farmer award in 1991, I went on to receive my Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and Crop Science in 1995 from Virginia Tech. Upon graduation, I was employed as the manager and certified crop advisor of an agricultural farm supply store and later as an assistant manager of a farm equipment dealership. During those years I continued to farm part-time while building business relationships through my places of employment and with our membership in the Virginia Crop Improvement Association. We maintained diversity with our farming operation by continuing our beef cattle and hay enterprises, but with a growing demand for seed grain in the surrounding Piedmont region of Virginia and North Carolina, we expanded our seed operation which allowed me to return to the farm full time. Now, working side by side with my father and with the support of my wife Wendy I was able to explore other niche markets for growth in our operation. Three years ago we planted our first two-row malting barley varieties and we became a licensed seed producer for Limagrain Cereal Seed. Finding an opportunity for growth in this new market and with our original aging seed plant running at capacity, we began construction on our 2nd seed and grain processing plant in 2016. Upon its completion, in August of 2017, we produced certified seed for customers in six states in the Mid-Atlantic region as well as conditioning barley for malting facilities in Virginia and North Carolina. In addition to being the chief operator of Hill View Farms, Inc., I am serving on the Virginia Crop Improvement Board of Directors as well as a member of the advisory board of our county Farm Bureau.
Marcus grew up in a small farming community in the Midwest, becoming a farming entrepreneur at a young age to support himself through college. After receiving a degree in Engineering, Marcus has spent most of his career in supply chain management and quality control. Marcus is currently the Strategic Development Manager for Intellifarms whose core purpose is to improve the integrity of grain throughout the supply chain, especially during storage. With sustainability as a primary focus, Marcus works with Brewers, Processors, Elevators, Mills, and other end users to establish a program to allow growers to deliver grain that consistently meets or exceeds quality characteristics that are vital to the industry. Marcus also works directly with growers to implement this technology which brings significant profits and efficiencies back to the farm.
Wynse Brooks leads the Virginia Tech barley breeding program; he oversees, designs, coordinates and implements all major research activities of the breeding program including development and testing of traditional feed barley, hulless barley, and malting barley cultivars. He holds a Masters Degree in Plant Breeding and genetics from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and has over 20 years of experience developing and testing of barley cultivars. Under his direction, the Virginia Tech barley program has successfully developed and released eight winter barley cultivars including Thoroughbred (the winter type malting barley cultivar) and has recommended production of two winter malting barley cultivars, Violetta and Flavia based on agronomic performance in the mid-Atlantic and the southeastern United States. He also plays a major role in the initiation of malt barley testing and variety development in the region, which addresses current needs of stakeholders and new market opportunities for barley. The continued success of Virginia Tech barley breeding program can be attributed to the dedication, diligence, and contributions of Wynse Brooks and the barley team in their unwavering quest to ensure a viable future for winter barley production in the eastern U.S.
Following a MS degree at Louisiana State University and a PhD at Purdue University, Dr. David Marshall began his career as a cereal crop (wheat, barley, oats) breeder and pathologist with the private company, North American Plant Breeders (NAPB), in 1982 in Berthoud, CO. In 1985, he joined the faculty at Texas A&M University, where he progressed to tenured Full Professor in 1992. In 2002, Dr. Marshall joined USDA-Agricultural Research Service as research Plant Pathologist & Breeder and Research Leader of Plant Science Research in Raleigh, NC. He is recognized internationally as a leading authority on cereal crop breeding and breeding for disease resistance. Dr. Marshall has presented about 190 invited seminars worldwide and is frequently invited to consult and assist in germplasm development, breeding, introgression of desirable traits to modern cereals from progenitor species, and infusing genetic diversity into crop variety development for sustaining genetic disease resistance. Dr. Marshall’s major contribution has been to develop 50 varieties of wheat, oats and barley worldwide and thousands of breeding lines having high-yields and resistance to the world’s major diseases. He has also published 120 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and edited books.
He has been honored as a Fellow in three Professional Societies – the American Society of Agronomy (2007), the Crop Science Society of America (2008), and the American Phytopathological Society (2009). While on the faculty at Texas A&M University (1985-2001) he received Outstanding Faculty Awards from the College of Agriculture, and two Chancellor’s Awards for individual and team research. At USDA-ARS (2002-present), he has received two Secretary of Agriculture Honor Awards and the Abraham Lincoln Honor Award for Global Food Security in 2016 for his work in Pakistan from 2010-2016. He has been recognized by wheat producers in North Carolina by receiving the Outstanding Service Award in 2012. He currently is Lead Investigator on evaluation of U.S. wheat and barley for Ug-99 stem rust in East Africa, and is developing high-yielding, disease resistant, bread wheat and malting barley varieties for North Carolina and the Mid-Atlantic States.
Dr. Angela Post
Dr. Angela R. Post grew up in Franklinville, North Carolina. She completed her undergraduate and Masters Degrees at North Carolina State and her Ph.D. at Virginia Tech. She served three years as the Small Grains Weed Scientist at Oklahoma State University before coming back to NC as an Assistant Professor and Small Grains Extension Specialist in the Crop & Soil Sciences department at North Carolina State University. Her extension responsibilities include working with North Carolina growers in winter grain production for wheat, barley, oats, rye, and triticale. She also works in summer crop production for grain sorghum and industrial hemp. Follow her @NCGraintalk or email her at: [email protected].
Zach Gaines is the National Sales and Marketing Manager for Limagrain Cereal Seeds (LCS). LCS is a wheat and barley breeding company, and a business unit of Group Limagrain. Prior to joining LCS, Zach spent 5 years as a brewing manager for Anheuser-Busch at their Los Angeles, CA brewery. Zach began his career working for Busch Agricultural Resources (BARI), in the AB barley breeding program.
Dr. Dan Brann
My love of farming is the result of growing up on a grain crop farm in the Northern Neck of Virginia. My father instilled in me the necessity of paying attention to details and how to manage a crop. I live in Christiansburg, VA, with my wife of 50 years and appreciate the joys of being a father and a grandfather.
I graduated with a B.S. in Agronomy from Virginia Tech in 1967, and a Ph.D in Agronomy from West Virginia University in 1972. From 1974 to 2002, I had the best job in the country as the Extension Grain Crop Specialist at Virginia Tech. I was given the freedom to do just about anything I thought would help Virginia grain crop farmers be more profitable and competitive. My program focused on Intensive Wheat and Barley Management Research and Education. One premise of my program was, “If research is really important, I should be able to find at least one additional faculty member, extension agent, and/or agribusiness representative that would like to work with me”. WE developed a comprehensive team that dramatically increased wheat and barley yields in the region. Many of the production principles developed in that program are still improving wheat and barley yields in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Upon retiring in 2002, I farmed with my father and nephew in the Northern Neck for about a decade. During those years, my father won second place in the Virginia Barley Yield Contest twice, and once won first place. I have been very interested in barley management for a long time!
Chuck King, my farming partner in Christiansburg (Southwestern Virginia), and I grow 35 acres of pumpkins and 100 acres of Hard Red Winter Wheat. In 2015 we harvested seven acres of Thoroughbred Malt Barley. In 2016 we harvested 20 acres of Thoroughbred Malt Barley and in 2017 we harvested 25 acres of Thoroughbred, 12 acres of Violetta two-row Malt Barley and two acres of Calypso two-row Malt Barley. We have planted 48 acres of Calypso and 12 acres of Violetta Barley for harvest in 2018.
Dr. Wade Thomason
Dr. Thomason’s primary responsibilities are extension education and research for the Virginia corn and small grains industries. The core focus of his extension education program is integration of corn, wheat, barley, and other crops into profitable cropping systems for the eastern U.S. Practical, economical, and environmentally sound production techniques are major areas of emphasis.
Donald Snyder has more than 12 years of experience in the alcohol and beverage industry, including holding senior management roles at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY, and MGPI in Lawrenceburg, IN. After leaving the corporate world to help the growing craft distilling industry, Donald created Whiskey Systems Online to help craft distilleries of all sizes with TTB compliance, production reporting, and cost tracking. Donald simplifies the complicated world of manufacturing cost accounting so distillers can really understand their profitability. He can be reached at: [email protected].
After serving as Dogfish Head’s Controller and Mother Earth Brewing’s CFO, Audra Gaiziunas launched her own consultancy, Brewed For Her Ledger LLC, in 2013. As a fractional CEO/CFO for craft beverage, Audra has served 110+ brewery and cider clients to date in the areas of strategic finance, accounting information systems, marketing management, and strategic operations. When she isn’t consulting, you’ll find her homebrewing, writing, speaking, trail running, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors of Asheville, NC.
April Smith is the Founder and President of Social Ape Marketing, a marketing and public relations company in Charlotte, NC. She created Social Ape in 2012 to provide a solution for brands to tell their story in an approachable way, whether it be through social media, PR or digital marketing. Prior to creating the company, April worked at ESPNU as a Social Media Manager, where her passion for marketing and fan affinity grew.
Originally from Richmond, VA, April graduated from Radford University and has lived in Charlotte since 2007. April has also actively been involved in giving back to her community, as well as serving as a connector to those around her. She has served on the Social Media Charlotte board and is extremely passionate about marketing, communications and entrepreneurship. When April isn’t glued to her computer or phone, she’s most likely doing hot yoga, hanging with her dog Frank, traveling or checking out the newest restaurants in Charlotte.
Sean Lilly Wilson
Sean Lilly Wilson is owner and Chief Executive Optimist of Durham, NC-based Fullsteam, a “plow to pint” brewery and tavern. Since launching in 2010, Fullsteam’s mission is to pioneer a Southern Beer Economy through the act of commerce, fostering economic opportunity for farmers, foragers, and agricultural entrepreneurs in a post-tobacco South.
Sean’s passion for connecting beer to the region’s farm and food systems earned him two James Beard Foundation semi-finalist honors in the Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional category. He is past president of the NC Craft Brewers Guild and, in 2015, received the guild’s first-ever “Industry Impact” award. Sean’s beer career began as founder and president of Pop The Cap, a grassroots lobbying nonprofit that helped modernize North Carolina’s beer laws in the mid 2000s.
His passion for political advocacy began at the age of seventeen, when, for his Eagle Scout project, he organized an all-day conference on how citizens can get involved in the political process. More recently, in 2017, the North Carolina Business Council honored Sean as a “Visionary Leader” in Civic Engagement.
Fullsteam’s foraged persimmon ale, First Frost, is the only North Carolina beer to win a Good Food Award (2013, 2016). Sean’s especially proud that his family — wife Carolyn and children Echo and Sophie — join him in foraging the verdant Carolina Piedmont.
Jeff “Puff” Irvin earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Iowa State University and went on to complete the Master Brewers program at the University of California – Davis. Afterward, he earned the title of Diploma Brewer from the Guild of Brewing and Distilling in England. He spent ten years at Olde Main Brewing Company in Ames, IA as their Brewmaster, building their processes and recipes, managing the facility and training employees. In August 2013 he became the first hired instructor of the Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation program at Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College. The first 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation In the United States. He is the Director of the Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast ™ (CBI) at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. The CBI is designed to support the rapidly growing craft beverage industry in Western North Carolina and the Southeast by providing curriculum and non-credit courses in brewing, distilling, fermentation and related business practices. He is one of eight Institute of Brewing and Distilling Accredited Trainers in the United States.
Lew Bryson has been writing about beer and spirits full-time since 1995. He was the managing editor of Whisky Advocate from 1996 through 2015, where he also wrote the American Spirits column, and reviewed whiskeys. He is currently a columnist for All About Beer, a regular writer for the Daily Beast, and an American correspondent for Scotchwhisky.com.
Bryson is the author of Tasting Whiskey (Storey Publishing, 2014), a broad survey of the whiskeys of the world, their history and manufacture. He has also written four regional brewery guidebooks from Stackpole Books: Pennsylvania Breweries (4 editions); New York Breweries;Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Breweries; and New Jersey Breweries (with Mark Haynie).
He was selected as the 2008 winner of the Michael Jackson Beer Journalism Award (Trade and Specialty Beer Media). He has served as a judge on the Professional Blind Tasting Panel at the Great American Beer Festival.
Lew Bryson lives north of Philadelphia with his wife and two Welsh Corgis.
Adam Johnson came to the KDA in 2012 as its first-ever Senior Director of the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences. Having served six years as Executive Director of the Danville/Boyle County Visitors Bureau, Johnson comes to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail from a hospitality and tourism industry background.
As Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Director, Johnson is responsible for strengthening partnerships among the Bourbon and tourism industries; working with member distilleries to manage tourism growth and solidifying Kentucky as the authentic home for Bourbon. In addition to working on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, he helps manage the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. He also has served as Assistant Director for Annual Giving at Centre College in Danville, where he graduated with a degree in History in 1997.
Lindsay earned a B.S. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM and an M.S. in Food Science and Technology from the University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis she focused on malting and brewing science under Dr. Charles Bamforth working on gluten-free beer research. Lindsay currently manages the Sensory program at New Belgium Brewing Company and is involved in the brewing industry as the chair of the American Society of Brewing Chemists Sensory Subcommittee, Great American Beer Festival Judge and instructor for the Siebel Institute’s Sensory Panel Management course. She is also a co-founder of DraughtLab where she works as a developer of sensory software solutions for the Craft Brewing industry.
Cassie earned a B.S. degree in Biology from Old Dominion University of Norfolk, VA and a Master of Forestry from Michigan Technological University of Houghton, MI. She began her career in the brewing industry as a Chemist at MillerCoors in 2013 and currently works in the Technical Services department at Briess Malt & Ingredients Co. of Chilton, WI. In her current role, Cassie focuses on sensory research and development. She is an active member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists Sensory Subcommittee and serves in the role of ASBC Webinar Chair.
If you’re all about craft and community, Andrew Lemley wants to have a beer with you. He’s the Executive Director of the NC Craft Brewers Guild, and he’s focused on building shared value for North Carolina’s passionate community of craft brewers. That means standing up for brewers at the NC ABC Commission and the state legislature, helping brewers advocate for their own interests, administering a state trade association, and serving as head cheerleader for North Carolina’s main street brewers.
Chris Swersey serves as Supply Chain Specialist for Brewers Association, a Boulder Colorado based association whose purpose is to promote and protect American craft brewers. His primary focus is to ensure over 4,100 member breweries have access to adequate supplies of high-quality ingredients, especially malted barley and hops. Chris has served on the CMG board of directors since April 2017, spent 10 years as a commercial brewer, and has been a homebrewer for 30 years. He lives in Salmon Idaho, and operates a whitewater rafting and fishing company with his family.
Dan Wade is co-founder and head brewer at Wooden Robot Brewery in Charlotte, NC. Wooden Robot is an urban farmhouse brewery dedicated to innovative beers featuring local ingredients whenever possible, including 100% local malt. Dan received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida and his Masters of Science in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Before founding Wooden Robot, he brewed at Swamp Head Brewery and Rogue Ales and Spirits.
Nina Shebest is an assistant distiller at One Eight Distilling in Washington, D.C. At One Eight, Nina helps to create award-winning grain-to-glass craft spirits using locally-sourced ingredients. An Asheville native, Nina earned an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation from the Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast at Asheville Buncombe Community Technical College and interned in the cellar at Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard, NC before relocating to the Nation’s Capital. She has a passion for sustainable agriculture for use in brewing and distilling and educating consumers about quality and transparency in the production of distilled spirits.
Sam & Stephanie Halcomb
Walnut Grove Farms is a family farm based in the community of Schochoh, KY, 50 miles north of Nashville, TN. It is managed by the 5th and 6th generations of the Halcomb family and farms on both sides of the state line.
One of the most relevant disciplines Sam and Stephanie brought home from an early career at Caterpillar, Inc. was the concept of Services Marketing. In 2006 Sam was fortunate to work directly with Valarie Zeithaml of the University of North Carolina learning about The Gaps Model of Service Quality, which begins with the Customer Gap. This is defined as the gap between the service a customer expects and the service he receives. Service providers close that gap by understanding customer expectations, designing services to meet those expectations, delivering service to the highest standard, and ensuring their promises have been kept.
Since returning home in 2010 Sam and Stephanie have utilized this model to move the family business from strict commodity production toward customers that value high-quality grains as well as services. This transition continues to evolve but it begins with a simple premise. Commodity producers compete on quantity. Walnut Grove Farms competes on quality.
The local food movement and concepts such as traceability and sustainability are consumer trends the Halcomb’s watch with keen interest. Using her engineering background Stephanie has implemented tools and processes to preserve grain identity from planting all the way to customer delivery. She is now working on metrics and tools to gauge sustainable practices on the farm.
Walnut Grove Farms and the Halcomb Family are honored to serve several craft maltsters and continually look for ways to better meet their needs.
Brent Manning is a co-founder of Riverbend Malt House located in Asheville, NC. He has managed raw materials purchasing, sales, and product development efforts since the company’s inception in 2010. He is also a co-founder of the North American Craft Maltsters Guild and currently serves as President of the organization.
What can you expect to get out of the conference?
- An overview of the current state of craft malt, including malting technology, handling and storage, marketing, and agriculture in the Mid-Atlantic
- Useful information you can use in areas such as equipment, social media, digital marketing, brewing, and distilling
- Sensory training designed to increase awareness of diverse craft malt flavors
- Participation in the Craft Maltsters Guild Annual Meeting
- Networking opportunities during session, meals, trade show, and events
- Breakfast and lunch both days of the conference included in the conference price