The 2020 Malt Cup is now open!

ENTRY DEADLINE: Monday, November 18th, 2019
-Details for submission are below-

Malt Cup

The Craft Maltsters Guild is excited to announce the return of its annual Malt Cup, a competition designed to recognize the Craft Maltsters Guild members who exemplify the Guild’s mission of upholding the highest quality standards for maltsters.

Intent of Competition:

  • To enhance the quality of craft malt by providing entrants constructive feedback on the quality and flavor of their malt.
  • To recognize Craft Maltsters Guild members who exemplify the Guild’s mission of upholding the highest quality standards. 
  • To provide the malting industry with a recognized, credible malt flavor and quality mark.

Entry Requirements

You must be a Guild member in good standing to enter the Malt Cup. Member Malthouses or Allied Trade members may enter.

A list of current Member Malthouses may be found here and a list of current Allied Trade malthouses may be found here.

2020 Categories

Words of Advice: Samples falling too far outside the required color for that style will be subject to disqualification.

The 2020 malt categories will be Pale Malt and Light Munich.

Guidelines and judging criteria are based on average examples of these styles found in craft malt and are set and approved by the CMG’s board of directors, and are as follows:

Pale Malt
Pale Malt is a generic term covering a broad class of light-colored base malts. “Pale” malt has moderate modification and enzyme potential. The term “lager malt” may also be used to describe these malts. In comparison to Pilsner, pale exhibits a deeper malt flavor.
Color: 1.6 – 2.5 SRM
Entries will be evaluated based on the following guidelines: Pale Malt entries should be high in extract and enzyme capacity as well as low in B-glucan, all concurrent with well balanced modification. Malts should also be moderate in S/T and FAN.

Light Munich
Light munich malts have a restrained but often elegant character with lower enzymatic potential but still sufficient to convert a mash when used at 100%. Munich is typically the flavor that comes to mind when drinkers think of maltiness.
Color: 9 – 11 SRM
Entries will be evaluated based on the following guidelines: Light Munich malts should have moderate extract, FAN, and sufficient enzyme capacity to self convert when utilized in high percentages in a brewers grist bill. Malts should also be well modified with low B-glucan.

*Descriptions from John Mallett’s “Malt: a practical guide from field to brewhouse”


  1. Any Member Malthouse or Allied Trade malthouse in good standing may enter. The cost of entry is $150 for Member Malthouses and $300 for Allied Trade.
  2. Limit one entry per malthouse per category. 
  3. There is no limit to the number of entries the Guild will accept per category, provided malthouses abide by the ‘limit one entry per category’. 
  4. The registration and sample acceptance window for entries will be Monday, October 21st through Monday, November 18th, 2020.
  5. All participants must e-mail [email protected] with their intent to enter in order to receive instructions before sending samples.
  6. Entries will only be accepted through Monday, November 18th, 2020
  7. Only after receiving sample instructions, malthouses must send 2 pounds of malt to the below address:
    Sending via FedEx/UPS:
    Montana State University
    ATTN: Hannah Turner, Malt Quality Lab
    Plant Bioscience Building
    Bozeman, MT 59717-3150

    Sending via USPS:
    Montana State University
    ATTN: Hannah Turner, Malt Quality Lab
    119 Plant Bioscience Building
    P.O. Box 173150
    Bozeman, MT 59717-3150

  8. Each entry must be affixed with the approved competition label with no other identifying information (return label on mail packaging is acceptable). 
  9. Malt submissions must be a regularly produced commercially available product from your malthouse and may not be a single one-off malt or pilot batch made solely for this competition.


  1. Evaluation will take place over several phases. The first phase will evaluate quality, based on COAs provided by the Malt Quality Lab at Montana State University. Entries will be scored according to pre-determined style criteria. All entrants will receive a copy of the quality report generated from this evaluation. Malts passing the quality criteria will move to the second phase, sensory analysis, performed remotely by qualified malt quality ambassadors. The top malts will move forward to a final Best of Show judging round performed on Thursday, February 6th, 2020. 
  2. Entries will be assigned an entry number to maintain anonymity for the judges. Judges will not be able to identify the malthouse entrant by the hot steep sample. 
  3. Judging will be blind. Competition staff volunteers will prepare hot steep samples for judges. Staff will prepare the hot steep samples; staff may not serve as judges to ensure anonymity of entries and objectivity of judging process. 
  4. Entrants and/or their employees may not serve as volunteers or judges of categories entered. 
  5. Judges will evaluate hot steep samples and complete score sheets that contain their sensory evaluations of the entry and how those aspects relate to the guidelines as well as provide constructive feedback for each entry. 
  6. Judges will score sensory and flavor for each category based on scoring criteria set by the board of directors.
  7. Awards will be given for first, second, and third places for each malt category. Honorable mentions or other accolades may be awarded at the judges’ discretion. 
  8. Winners will be announced at the 2020 Craft Malt Conference.

2019 Malt Cup Award Recipients

Root Shoot 1st Place1st Place:

Root Shoot Malting (Loveland, CO)





Mainstem Malt 2nd Place2nd Place:

Mainstem Malt (Walla Walla, WA)






Carolina Malt 3rd Place3rd Place:

Carolina Malt House (Cleveland, NC)






Learn more about the 2020 Craft Malt Conference here.