Pre-Conference Workshop Speakers

Lindsay Barr has earned global recognition in the field of Sensory science through her work as the Sensory program manager at New Belgium Brewing Company and as Co-Founder of DraughtLab Sensory Software. She is highly regarded for her technical, yet laid-back public speaking personality and has gained recognition in the Sensory community for challenging the norms, creating new methods and improving the old – making them more accessible while maintaining their robustness.

Lindsay served as the chair of the American Society of Brewing Chemists Sensory Committee for five years. In that time, she helped develop a webinar program and published seven new Sensory methods. She holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of New Mexico and a Masters degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of California, Davis.  While at UC Davis, she studied under Dr. Charles Bamforth and published some of the first works on gluten-free beer production.  She continues her involvement in academia by guest lecturing at multiple universities and serving as a peer reviewer for multiple scientific journals. She also teaches the Sensory Panel Management course at the Siebel Institute of Technology and is a professional beer judge for the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competitions.

She believes that flavor is the most important factor in determining beer quality and consistency and has set her sights on continuing to develop tools focused on helping craft brewers use their senses to inform brewery-wide decisions.

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 Ph.D. 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 an accredited trainer by IBD and can conduct courses in French and English. He has published several papers, reviews, and patents, particularly in the malting process.

Alex Evans is a proud Montana native. He returned back to the state in 2017 to serve as the Small Business Development Center Director in southeastern Montana assisting people with business plans and loan applications. Previously, he worked in collegiate athletics for over five years at Gonzaga University and Fresno State. During that time, he also owned and managed residential properties. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Whitworth University, a Master’s degree from California State University, Fresno, and a Master’s in Business Administration with a Finance Concentration from Gonzaga University.

Advanced Course in Craft Malting Aaron MacLeod has been involved with malting and brewing quality testing and research for over 10 years and is currently the Director of the Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage. The Center provides quality testing for beer and brewing raw materials such as barley, malt, and hops. Aaron was previously a chemist in the Canadian Grain Commission’s Grain Research Laboratory where he was responsible for providing quality assurance for malting barley grown in western Canada and conducted research on factors affecting malting barley quality and quality measurement methods.  He presents frequently on topics related to malting and brewing science and quality testing methods. Aaron earned his B.Sc degree in chemistry from the University of Western Ontario in 2004.

Cassie Poirier began her career in the brewing and malting industry as a Chemist at MillerCoors in Milwaukee, WI, where she provided analytical support to the Hop and Cereal Chemistry Labs, performed pilot malting services, and served as an Official Taster on the Milwaukee Corporate Taste Panel. In her current role, Cassie manages the Briess Malt Sensory Program and provides technical support in all areas concerning the sensory attributes of malt. Cassie is a passionate member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, an organization in which she currently holds the position of Webinar Chair and actively serves in the Sensory Technical Subcommittee. Additionally, she is a Malt Sensory Ambassador for the Craft Maltsters Guild and holds professional membership in the Society of Sensory Professionals as well as the Institute of Food Technologists. Cassie has presented on the topics of Malt Sensory and Specialty Malts for the American Society of Brewing Chemists, Master Brewers Association of the Americas, American Homebrewers Association, Craft Maltsters Guild, North Dakota State University/Northern Crops Institute, and Siebel Institute of Technology. She has authored and co-authored publications for the American Society of Brewing Chemists Methods of Analysis, Master Brewers Association of the Americas Technical Quarterly, Brewers Association The New Brewer Magazine, and

Christian Stanley started Valley Malt with his wife Andrea in 2010 establishing the first craft malt house on the east coast. Christian is passionate about malt: the biological process, specialized mechanical equipment, process control and in the end great beer. As the gearhead at Valley Malt, Christian has enjoyed designing, fabricating and controlling equipment on the craft scale. Christian is a registered Professional Engineer, has consulted and supplied equipment to other craft malt houses, helping to kick-start a burgeoning industry.

Conference Speakers

Brandon Ade is the driving force behind malting barley production in Texas. Before 2013 malt was not produced in Texas for the brewing, distilling, and baking industries. Not one to wait around for someone else to solve the imminent need for Texas malt, Brandon founded Blacklands Malt in 2012, the first independent community malthouse in Texas history.  Like many small malthouse operators across the country, Brandon’s passion is to take the good sense of sustainable local food production and connect people to the land around them through unique foods and beverages. His experience with malthouse operations has now led him into professional malting consultation as well.

Brandon spends his free time in Austin Texas with his wife Samantha, sons Hadwin and Bruce, and two fur-babies Riker and Barley. He plays acoustic guitar to wind-down and officiates weddings for very close friends. He was trained in malting at CMBTC in Winnipeg.

After years working in diverse education and non-profit backgrounds focusing in ecology education and geospatial (mapping) technologies, Joel Alex was on track in 2012 to go to graduate school for rural economic development and social entrepreneurship. Sidetracked by a conversation with a craft brewer who asked “where’s the local malt?”, Joel found himself quickly being drawn deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of malt and by 2013 he had transitioned full time to making a Maine-based malthouse a reality.

After 18 months based out of a car and thousands of hours of research, experimenting, and capacity building, Blue Ox Malthouse began to build out of its floor malting facility in 2015 and began producing its first large-scale commercial batches that same year. Joe has received numerous recognition for his efforts in entrepreneurship and economic development and spends what little free time he has supporting environmental education and the folk arts.

Fred Bueltmann, a.k.a. “The Beervangelist,” is an author and independent consultant on company culture, the ideals of the craft marketplace and the connected lifestyle.  He has more than two decades of experience as an executive in the beverage industry including service at New Holland Brewing Company and Bell’s Brewing Company.

Bueltmann is past president of the Michigan Brewers Guild and recipient of their prestigious Tom Burns Award, recognizing the pioneering spirit of the “Great Beer State.” A nationally recognized expert on pairing beer and food, Fred’s book, The Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy was recognized as an Indie Book Award finalist.

Fred is a prolific writer and speaker, including topics such as “The Community of Collaboration” at TedX Macatawa in 2015.  He pens a quarterly column, Farm Aid Connection, for Craft by Under My Host magazine, and he recently traversed the United States by train to research his next book on the cultural shifts of the craft renaissance while documenting the process in his podcast, “This Craft Nation.”

Jesse Bussard is a writer, event planner, and fermentation revivalist based in Bozeman, MT. As co-founder of Fermentana, a community-based, fermentation-focused events promotions company, Jesse and her partner Loy Maierhauser successfully launched Bozeman’s first craft beer week in May 2017. Along with planning events, Jesse is the owner of her own communications business, Cowpunch Creative, and an occasional contributor to beer publications like Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine and October. In addition, she has served as President of the Gallatin Valley’s popular and ever-growing homebrew club, Bridger Brew Crew, since 2014. Possessing an unrivaled knack for networking and enthusiasm for building and strengthening communities, Jesse’s get-shit-done attitude, entrepreneurial drive, and passion for all things fermented truly make her an asset to Montana’s burgeoning beer scene. Her diverse experience fermenting everything from kombucha to mead to IPAs is just icing on the cake.

Katrina Christiansen has extensive experience malting and developing novel grain processes. She is one of the designers of the Intelligent Malting Unit. She applies her bioprocess engineering background to assist the blooming craft malting industry make safe, consistent products with properties brewers already skilled with new ingredients can harness. She started working in the malting industry as the Pilot Project Lead for Cargill Malt for 4 years. While there she contributed two malting process patents. Prior to Cargill, she completed a Ph.D. comparing biofuel crops and production systems at Iowa State University in 2011. She also worked as a Plant Engineer at a biofuel ethanol plant in Nebraska and completed her undergrad and Master’s in Biosystems Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Curtis Davenport is a founder of Admiral Maltings. With a background in organic farming and ecology, Curtis has spent the last 7 years working to provide locally and sustainably grown grain to California brewers, distillers, and bakers. After building and making malt on a small- scale system in 2012, Curtis partnered with Ron Silberstein and Dave McLean to open Admiral Maltings in Alameda, where he now oversees production as Head Maltster.

Karl DeJonge is a partner in a family farming operation which includes the production of seed potatoes, seed and malt barley, alfalfa, and other small grains. He is the owner/operator of Gallatin Valley Malt Co., which specializes in malt produced from grains grown on their family farm. June and Karl have been married for 32 years. They have two grown children and are excited that their daughter and her husband are expecting their first child this summer. Karl enjoys 4-wheeler rides in the mountains, boating, Sunday afternoon adventures, and beer.

Dustin de Yong has worked in industrial development for the State of Montana for the past 8 years. In 2014, his bureau published an industrial analysis of the craft malting industry and development of malting facilities in the state. This public work has resulted in the ongoing construction of a 10,000-ton malting facility in Butte, Montana.


Matt Enns was born into a 3rd generation mixed farm in the Sask Valley near Rosthern, Saskatchewan.  Often told by his father he was “just not a farmer”, Matt attended post-secondary and was a Division 1 student/athlete at the University of Saskatchewan graduating in 2004.   Now a recovering professional, Matt was a Physical Therapist for 12 years in the nearby city of Saskatoon, all the while retaining a connection to farming working with Double E Grain, his Dad’s grain operation.  In 2012 Matt bought out a neighboring farm to join a small collective of 4 owner-operators called EFEKtive Farming (which includes Double E) and in 2014 let his Physio license go to become a full-time farmer.  Matt found a niche on the farm leading the commodity marketing and secondary to a long list of interesting factors, stumbled upon the idea of setting up Saskatchewan’s first small-batch malting facility.  In late 2017 Maker’s Malt produced its first batch.  2018 has been a whirlwind including the learning curve of a craft malting business, the addition of twin boys and a relocation.  Matt currently resides 3 blocks from the malt-house in the small town of Rosthern alongside his wife Katie and boys Harrison and Jack.

Chris Fries is one of the Owners and Head Maltster at Two Track Malting in Lincoln North Dakota. He also works as a Project Manager for a large software company in Mandan, ND. Originally from Washington State, he moved to North Dakota in 2012 with his Wife and Son. Chris studied at Eastern Washington University and ITT Tech for Engineering Design and Drafting. Chris started brewing in 2013 and started studying malting trying to make a 100% North Dakota beer. The Malting hobby grew from 10lbs per batch to 30,000lbs over the last few years.

Matthew Gammans is a Ph.D. candidate in the Agricultural and Resources Economics program at UC Davis. A native Michigander, he earned a BS in Biosystems Engineering at Michigan State University before heading west to California. At UC Davis, he researches the effect of climate change on the agricultural industry and how farmers and stakeholders might adapt. His recent work has focused on the effect of warming on cereal agriculture, both in the United States and France.

Mark Gillette has been homebrewing for over 20 years. This interest, naturally, led him to find a job in the homebrewing retail space. He’s made this his niche for the last six years. His interest has also motivated him to be involved in multiple homebrewing-related ventures on his own time. He founded both Portland, Oregon’s Stout Bout homebrew competition and the Portland Brewers Collective homebrew club. Furthermore, he has helped plan the Pacific Northwest Homebrewers Conference in 2016 (the inaugural year) and in 2017.

More relevantly to this conference, Mark is currently the sales manager at the oldest homebrew supply store in the United States, the 100 year-old F.H. Steinbart Co. In this role, he has helped to bring 34 varieties of craft malt from five different brands to the PDX area. He is also always interested in learning more about new varieties and brands.

Tim Gormley experienced his “epiphany beer” – Samuel Smith Imperial Stout – whilst studying for his business degree at The Penn State University. Shortly after graduation, he relocated to Seattle, WA where he met his current business partners, Doug and Jess Reiser. In their free time, the trio home brewed and documented their craft beer-centric travels on their blog – Tim began brewing professionally at Lazy Boy Brewing (Everett, WA) in 2009 before seeking more experience crafting Belgian and German style beers at Sound Brewery (Poulsbo, WA). Doug, Jess, and Tim moved to Asheville, NC in 2012 and opened Burial Beer Co. in the summer of 2013.

Adam Heuberger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Colorado State University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees at UW-Madison and Ph.D. from Colorado State University. His laboratory studies biochemical diversity in plants and foods to improve processing quality, flavor, and human health. This research spans the fields of metabolomics, analytical chemistry, food science and genomics, and includes research in barley, malt, beer, potato, onion, wheat, bread, and bean. He teaches two courses at CSU in the areas of phytochemistry and metabolomics.

Colin Johnston hails from Scotland and has just celebrated 10 years in the brewing industry this January.

He entered the brewing world in the best possible way; tasting a great beer in a pub and asking the company for a job. Colin has worked across the industry in many differing roles over the past Decade, principally focussed on process, operations, projects management and engineering. His main focus before joining Crisp Malt was in opening and running craft breweries in Glasgow but has also worked internationally including Japan, Canada and for 6 months in Vermont in the world of cider.

Colin joined Crisp Malt in 2017 and is their craft distilling representative. He works across the UK and Ireland advising distilling customers how to get the best out of their malts and has a particular interest in provenance, local sourcing and flavour development.

He is a ‘Diploma in Brewing’ and ‘General Certificate in Distilling’ holder from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling in the UK.

Rob Liedl is a consultant to the craft brewing and malting Industry. He started his journey in the late 80’s working for Molson and Sleeman as a Food Science Co-op student while attending the University of Guelph. He then spent 2 ½ years attending Weihenstephan where he received his  Dipl. Braumeister papers and got the opportunity to work at the learning and research brewery where malting caught his interest. Since then he has spent time malting in various capacities for the following companies: Gambrinus Malting, Doung Malting, Hanoi, Cargill Malt, Great Western Malting, Phillips Brewing and Malting, and NSI. Rob lives in Vernon, BC with his wife Sandra.

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.


Brigid Meints is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Barley Breeding program at Oregon State University. She grew up in Corvallis, OR and developed a love for plants at a young age. She earned a BA from Scripps College in Anthropology and Gender & Women’s Studies but found her way back to plants after graduation when she began working for the barley breeding program at OSU. She earned her MS from OSU in Crop Science with a focus in Plant Breeding & Genetics and recently completed her Ph.D. in Crop Science at Washington State University. Her research focuses on breeding multi-use naked barley for organic systems.

Charlie Melhus was born in the country of Norway and spent his childhood in Georgia & North Carolina before moving to Norway, Maine at the age of 12. He taught himself to homebrew in college, before going on to apprentice at Freeport Brewing Co. while studying Culinary Arts & working in kitchens around Portland, ME. After moving to Stavanger, Norway and working as a chef for three more years, he made the switch to brewer at Lervig Aktiebryggeri & spent another three years brewing under Mike Murphy. He then moved back to Norway, Maine to found Norway Brewing Company with his wife Erika and his parents, where he now works as the head brewer. Norway Brewing Co. is a full-service brewpub producing ales & lagers with a focus on Maine-grown ingredients for both on-premise and wholesale accounts, as well as bottle-conditioned farmhouse & barrel-aged beers.

Ryan Pfeifle was born and raised on the family farm in Power, Montana. As an engineer, Ryan spent 2006 living in Europe where chasing good beer became a passion. Upon returning home, that passion evolved into home brewing and ultimately the desire to make an all homemade beer. Experiments began with hop growing and home malting… jump ahead a few years and he returned to the farm and hand built a malting drum and a craft malthouse.

Liz Preston went to school at Humboldt State University in Arcata CA and graduated in 2003 with BS in biology, ran a marine microbial ecology lab/research group at UC Santa Cruz specializing in the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria of the open oceans from 04-08, then moved back to Humboldt for a few years to run a commercial environmental laboratory and eventually manage environmental compliance for a decommissioned nuclear power plant in Eureka, CA before making the move from CA to NY where her husband Mike worked for Entergy Corp. for a few years and Liz, for the first time in 25 years, took some time off.  In those 18 months, she dove into homebrew a bit more, (she had one formal homebrew class in california a year before) and taught herself how to make cheese, tofu, cure meats, ferment fruit, make vinegars, and preserve vegetables etc.   She decided when they transferred to Arkansas with her husband’s work that she would enroll in the Brewing Science and Engineering certification program through the American Brewer’s Guild.  She completed that at the end of 2014 and started planning their pilot brewery.  They built a small 18×20 building and bought a Ruby Street 1bbl brewing system and got to work on developing recipes, etc.  They opened Feb 2016 and have enjoyed steady growth and a warm, supportive reception from both the craft beer community and their neighboring community as well.  They started out for the first year just offering samples and growlers, moved into on-premises consumption and then added some more seating, some kitchen equipment….and started our food program in the fall of 2017.  Liz now cooks for their customers on Saturdays and Sundays using their own crops as well as local and regional small farm products.  She manages their certified organic farm and brews 2-3 days a week.  She started out brewing with large scale commercial malt, but her drive for local and small business sustainability pushed her to seek out smaller, independent craft malt suppliers.  Riverbend Heritage and Pale were the first craft malts they used, and went on to produce Heritage Pale, one of their three year-round brews.  Riverbend and Troubadour (and the occasional Grouse millet) are currently their sole malt suppliers.  In a continued effort to push for more independence, more support of small sustainable businesses, they are transitioning their yeast program to Inland Island yeast, a small craft yeast lab in Colorado.  As they near their 3rd anniversary at Prestonrose, they are excited to expand their production and thrilled that their craft maltsters and yeast labs are enjoying similar success and will grow with them!!  They plan to move from a 1bbl system to 10-15bbls, and have plans in the works to develop their farm into an multipurpose destination where culinary, craft beer, agricultural and general tourists alike can gather, learn and enjoy.

Paul Schwarz is a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University, where he directs the barley quality laboratory in the Cereal and Food Science program. He teaches a graduate course in malting and brewing and serves as the course director for the Northern Crops Institute’s annual short course on Barley and Malt Quality. Dr. Schwarz has published over 100 scientific papers on aspects of barley, malt, and beer, including numerous book chapters. His recent research has focused on Fusarium Head Blight, as related to and malting and brewing, and also on the malting of rye.  While an NDSU faculty member for 30 years, Dr. Schwarz has also worked at the Coors Brewing Company, Golden CO, the Albertus Egger Bierbrauerei, Worb Switzerland, and the Kurth Malting Corp., Milwaukee, WI.

Jamie Sherman is the barley breeder at Montana State University.   Her program is developing new varieties for all barley end-uses including food, forage and feed, but a primary focus is on developing lines with improved malt quality.   Towards that goal, she has developed a fully functional malt quality lab to not only support the breeding program but to also support the developing craft malting industry.

ThirstyBear Organic Brewery’s Founding Brewmaster, Ron Silberstein, established ThirstyBear after his love for home brewing spun out of control. Silberstein first experimented with home brewing in 1980, while attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst — shortly after home brewing was legalized.  He continued brewing right through law school and into his first career as an immigration attorney

In the early ‘90s just as brewpubs started to take off around the country, Silberstein decided to hang-up the billable hours as an immigration attorney and ride the emerging waves of the craft beer movement. He brewed, studied, researched, brewed some more, put together a business plan and took the first Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering diploma course offered by the American Brewers Guild. It was there that he had the incredibly fortunate opportunity to study under the preeminent brewing scientist, Dr. Michael Lewis of UC Davis.

With his business plan, brewing diploma, a bit of luck and an ambitious vision to open the first brewery-restaurant in San Francisco to give equal artisanal focus to both food and beer, he doggedly put together a group of investors who believed in his passion for craft brewing and Spanish tapas. ThirstyBear Brewing Co. opened its doors on September 13, 1996.  ThirstyBear Organic Brewery is the first, and still the only, brewery in San Francisco to brew certified organic beer (since 2007) and is the oldest brewery-restaurant in San Francisco.

In September 2014 Ron attended the intensive malting course at the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre and studied under the Director of Malting Technology, Yueshu Li in Winnipeg, Canada.  Ron Silberstein founded Admiral Maltings, along with his partners Curtis Davenport and Dave McLean (Magnolia Brewing) at Alameda Point in Alameda, CA. Admiral Maltings produces premium quality malt using traditional floor-malting methods and sustainably grown (organic or no-till), locally sourced grain. With its focus on process, terroir and grain variety, Admiral Maltings fosters a robust connection between craft brewers and distillers and their local agricultural community.  Admiral produced its first batch of malt in June 2017.

Ron is also a founding member of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, sits on its board of directors and obtains brewery and industry sponsorships to fund SF Beer Week.

Twila Soles is the maltstress and CEO of Grouse Malt House. She earned an undergraduate degree in Nutrition from Miami University and a Master’s degree in Food Science & Food Safety from Colorado State University. For graduate studies, she focused on malting and brewing science and bioactive and probiotic compounds. She took second place in the 2013 University of Northern Colorado’s Entrepreneur Challenge earning Grouse $15,000 and is a Founding Board Member of the North American Craft Maltsters Guild.

Since 2009 Andrea Stanley has been on a mission to bring the malthouse back and turn local grains into local malt for craft brewers and distillers in New England.

Andrea is passionate about the tradition and science of malting and shares her passion with other maltsters. In 2013, she helped form the Craft Maltster’s Guild and served as the chair of the board for 5 years. Andrea is committed to a more sustainable, transparent, and regionalized food system. In 2016, she was honored by Food and Wine and Forbes Magazine as one of the 20 Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink. In her spare time, she searches for anything she can read about the history of barley and malt. She has been known to corner people in breweries, barley fields, and grain elevators to talk about malt.

Ben Thomas is the Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture. Most recently, Ben served as the Deputy Under Secretary for the Marketing and Regulatory Programs Mission Area at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he helped oversee the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. Prior to that, he served as the Chief of Staff for the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Mission Area, which encompasses the Farm Service Agency, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Risk Management Agency. In that role, he oversaw the department’s international activities and worked to implement provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Prior to joining USDA, Ben served as Legislative Assistant and Counsel to Senators Max Baucus and John Walsh, helping write and implement the 2014 Farm Bill. He also provided counsel on trade, telecommunications, nutrition, the environment, rural development, and more. Prior to his Senate experience, Ben served in various policy positions at the Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency, and as a Law Clerk to the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

Ben graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He received his Juris Doctor from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and his LL.M in Agricultural and Food Law from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Ben was raised on a farm near Morton, Texas, where his family still farms.

Dave Thomas, Board MemberDave Thomas is Brewer Emeritus at Dostal Alley Brewpub in Central City, Colorado; Executive Brewing Consultant for Ecolab and a print journalist for The Brewer and Distiller International (London, England).  During 32 years at Coors Brewing Co., Dave was R&D Director and Traveling Brewmaster in Korea, England, Golden, Memphis, and Shenandoah breweries and malthouses.

He has written two books. The first, “Of Mines & Beer!” relates the history of 19th century Colorado breweries. His second book, “The Craft Maltsters Handbook”, was written to capture much of Dave’s malting experience for the 100+ startup craft maltsters in North America.

Jeffrey Trout: Always a family operation, our farm started back with my great grandfather in the early 1900s. At the age of ten, I started farming with my grandfather in 1979. I purchased my first farm in 1996 and we have been growing slowly and thoughtfully ever since to over 500 acres today. We have been primarily focused on beef, soybeans, and wheat but started looking for a competitive small farm niche with malt barley in 2011.

Seven years later we are focusing on the whole malt barley value chain (e.g. seed to glass) while striving to produce only the best product with as many alternative revenue streams as possible (e.g. feed, cover crop, distilling, tourism). It has been a wonderful challenge but not without risk and challenge. We address those challenges with three part-time family employees, prudent use of crop insurance and government grants, reliable off-farm income, transparent business relationships, data-driven decisions, and long-term marketing goals. We are steadfast in an approach that is family orientated, consumer-driven, and environmentally responsible.

Hannah Turner is the Director of the Montana State University Barley Genetics and Malt Quality Lab. This lab services the MSU Breeding Program and works to improve barley of all types with a focus on malt barley. The Malt Quality Lab also supports the region by providing barley and malt testing for farmers and craft maltsters. Hannah has a strong devotion to the agricultural industry of Montana and believes in fortifying the farming, malting, and brewing/distilling community through outreach and education. Hannah received an M.S. in Plant Science as well as a B.S. in Environmental Horticulture from Montana State University. In her free time, Hannah enjoys all things outdoors including snowboarding, hiking, camping, and particularly gardening.

Wayne Wambles is the brewmaster for Cigar City Brewing, located in Tampa, Florida. He began as a home brewer in the early nineties and made the transition to commercial brewing by 1996. He has brewed in both brewpubs and production facilities, spending his career brewing at Southeast U.S. breweries. He assisted in building CCB from the ground up, beginning in 2008. CCB’s first year of production was in the range of 1,000 bbls. Today, the brewery makes over 100,000 bbls annually. He has a genuine love of all things beer, including a deep romance with hops and malt. He also enjoys infusing culinary concepts into zymurgical projects.

In 2014, Collin Watters joined the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee (MWBC), which promotes the profitability and sustainability of Montana wheat and barley farmers.  He enjoys working with grain buyers around the world to improve their profitability and drive demand for Montana-grown grains.  Before joining the MWBC, Collin worked for the Montana Department of Agriculture for nine years in various program management and administrative roles. He has a bachelors in agricultural sciences and an MBA with emphases in agricultural economics and international business from Western Illinois University.  Collin lives in Great Falls, Montana with his beautiful wife Brigitte and energetic son Calvin.

Register for the 2019 Craft Malt Conference here.