It’s hard to believe two months have already passed since we gathered for the 2023 Craft Malt Conference. The return of in-person programming as part of a hybrid conference was long awaited and Portland, Maine was an incredible host as expected. The Board is so grateful for the participation of our many engaging speakers from all facets of the industry, sharing their insights with attendees who traveled and plugged in from all over the world.
We were glad to see so many of our community members, including our six impressive scholarship recipients. One of those recipients, Kayla Stinnett was kind enough to recap her experience in this newsletter’s DEI In Action piece that you can read here.
Congratulations to the Soles of Malt winner Oechsner Farms (who you can learn more about in this interview) all of the Malt Cup winners for their achievement of consistent and high-quality malting techniques. For this quarter’s newsletter, Best in Show malthouse Root Shoot Malting, shared some quality tips and told us more about their mission to save family farms, one beer at a time.
At the conclusion of the conference, the Board of Directors took some time to meet and focus on our goals for the upcoming year in the context of the long term goals for the Guild. This in-person planning time apart from regular Guild business allows us to deliberate in a way that we cannot achieve on a monthly basis. One thing was very clear from the conversations that we were having: as the industry rapidly evolves, we need more information and data to make decisions on behalf of our entire membership.
So, over the course of the upcoming fiscal year we ask that you’ll share your input and information in order to make our Guild stronger, more aware of the state of the industry in all of your regions, and better informed about the services that you need for your business. We are working to carry out the more detailed industry survey which was originally benchmarked in 2019. We will also be asking for your participation in some shorter surveys on a few important topics. First up: This General Membership Survey that we encourage you to take five to ten minutes to complete. Your time and energy on this survey and future questionnaires makes a difference for the entire Guild.
Much of the Board’s time since the conference has been spent evaluating the day-to-day needs in the search for a new Executive Director after the resignation of Executive Director Jesse Bussard, who held the role from the beginning of 2019 to May 4, 2023. During this time Jesse was instrumental in organizing the logistics of our first virtual conference and the inception of The Guild’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee. The Board of Directors appreciates her service to the craft malt community.
A reimagined Executive Director position and the right individual will no doubt move the Craft Maltsters Guild into an exciting new chapter of growth. If you have a potential candidate with strong leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills who has experience in the small grains supply chain, please share this job posting with them. Applications for the position will be accepted through June 30, 2023.
Thank you for reading this installment of the Guild newsletter! In addition to all aforementioned content, you can also look for our Field To Bench series featuring the Southern Illinois University Fermentation Science Institute, Harmonie Bettenhausen’s Quality Corner piece on hot steep interpretation via chemical analysis, and a roundup of malty news articles published over the last few months.
We’re overjoyed to be a part of the burgeoning craft malt industry and excited to find innovative, timely ways to serve our membership. Thank you for your continued commitment to this community.
– Hillary Barile