Note: All times are in US Eastern Time.

All sessions will be broadcast live via Crowdcast. Recordings of each session will be available shortly after the live session ends. Learn more about our speaker lineup here.

Day 1 – Friday, February 18th, 2022

11:00 AM-12:00 PM – Welcome and Keynote Speaker Address

Introduction by: Brent Manning (Craft Maltsters Guild Board President and Co-Founder of Riverbend Malt House)

Keynote Speaker:  June Russell (Director of Regional Food Programs at the Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming)

In her keynote, Russell will connect her deep knowledge of the history of regional grain economies in the U.S. to the innovative work that our members are doing, offering a holistic view of how craft malt production is an asset to the burgeoning small grains movement.

12:30-1:30 PMThe Year the Rain Never Stopped: Barley Trends, Tales from the Trenches, and Can We Climb Out of the Mud?

Speaker:  Harmonie Bettenhausen (Director of the Hartwick College Center for Craft Food & Beverage)

North American small grains growers were dealt a challenging hand in 2021. One of the most extensively damaging and difficult hurdles presented was pre-harvest sprout damage to cereal crops such as barley, wheat, and rye. At the Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage in 2021, trends showed variability in germination energy and water sensitivity in many different varieties of the aforementioned cereal grains. This presentation will discuss the analysis and interpretation of these observations and trends, as well as how they affect maltsters and end-users like brewers and distillers. This will follow with a discussion on the need for germination testing prior to planning a malting regime (i.e., don’t assume a Certificate of Analysis from six months ago is still relevant) and when and why it should be done. Finally, a small experiment was designed to “retest” an old hypothesis regarding heat treatments to break water sensitivity. A summary of the outcome of that experiment and its effects on barley dormancy and vigor on the tested common varieties will be shared.

2:00-3:00 PMThe Role of Malts in Beer Quality Testing

Speakers:  Luci Benedict (Professor of Chemistry and Founder of the University of Southern Maine [USM] Quality Control Collaboratory) and Samantha White (Lab Coordinator USM Quality Control Collaboratory)

From mashing to canning, beer goes through a variety of quality control tests to ensure it meets the brewer’s specifications. As one of the four main ingredients in the brewing process, malt plays a huge role in the outcomes of many of these analyses. In this talk, we will cover the wide variety of testing options for beer quality, and highlight the tests that are influenced by the malts brewers chose to use in their brews.

3:30-4:30 PMPremature Yeast Flocculation in the Brewery

Speaker:  Dr. Alex Speers (Honorary Professor at Heriot-Watt University International Centre for Brewing and Distilling and Emeritus Professor at Dalhousie University)

This presentation will outline a problem brewers experience when fermenting malt causes Premature Yeast Flocculation or so-called “PYF.” After discussing the technique to measure PYF we will present preliminary work comparing traditional pneumatic malt to floor malt. Premature yeast flocculation is a difficult behavior to measure in the fermentor as day-to-day variability in the brewery can mask yeast settling. To overcome this issue the malt is normally tested in the lab by undertaking a standard mash and fermenting the resulting Congress wort with a lager yeast using an American Society of Brewing Chemists-approved PYF method. Fermentation curves comparing the yeast in suspension versus time for a control to a suspected PYF malt were analyzed using an improved PYF technique. After discussing these methods, data comparing floor and pneumatic malt from single-sourced CDC Copeland barley will be presented. In this preliminary study, little difference in beer brewed with the two malting techniques was observed.

5:00-6:00 PM Steeping: An Overview of Process Management and Equipment Design Requirements

Speaker:  Bruce French (Technical Malting Consultant and a former employee of Schill Malz and GrainCorp Malt)

Steeping is a critical first step in the malting process. This presentation will provide an overview of steeping, with a detailed discussion of its objectives, process monitoring, and management. A review of the history of steeping technology and how it has evolved to meet present-day industry requirements will also be shared. Lastly, the strengths and weaknesses of current steeping technologies in use in today’s malting operations will be discussed.

7:00-8:00 PM – Virtual Happy Hour, Craft Malt Inspiration: What keeps YOU dreaming big? 

Join us for a happy hour discussion about the people, places, and projects that inspire us to do big things in the craft malt community. The floor will be open for folks to share their short-but-sweet stories. Beverage pairing is encouraged but optional. Virtual happy hours will be hosted on Zoom and participants will be emailed the meeting link on the day of the event.

Day 2 – Saturday, February 19th, 2022

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Locally Sourced, Agriculturally Focused

Speakers:  Kyle Hurst and Jon Kielty, Big aLICe Brewing Company 2020 Great American Beer Festival Small Brewing Company and Small Brewer of the Year

Big aLICe Brewing Company Owner Kyle Hurst, and Head Brewer Jon Kielty, will discuss their experience operating as one of the first Farm Breweries in New York City. Together they’ll cover a variety of topics including the history of the brewery, operating sustainably, and how they’ve been able to expand under the Farm Brewery license in New York. This session will be focused on why sourcing locally-grown New York State ingredients is something Big aLICe is passionate about, and how the brewery has been able to successfully market their beers and educate their following on why they should care about locally-sourced ingredients as much as they do.

12:30-1:30 PM Malting and Brewing Safety

Speaker:  Jay Hamacheck (President of Elk Rock Solutions LLC and the former Global Director of Environmental, Health, and Safety of United Malt Group)

The last two years (2020, 2021) have been a wild ride with COVID-19 greatly impacting customers, employees, and sales. At the same time, the pandemic has made the malting and brewing industries more aware of safety’s impact in workplaces. Over the last ten years, over 8,000 employees have been injured in the United States malting and brewing industry resulting in over 12,000 lost or restricted workdays. During this period, state and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors also did a deep dive into brewery and malthouse workplace hazards, the result of which was 463 inspections that found 360 violations and caused $1,226,554 in penalties. This session will look at the variety of potential hazards that can injure malting and brewing employees and trigger OSHA violations. You will also learn three proven steps to help ensure the safety of employees and help prevent OSHA violations. These three direct steps will help employees stay safe, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

2:00-3:00 PMBeyond Brewing:  Malt Meets Distilling


When craft malthouses start looking for customers, craft breweries are the first that come to mind. But it’s important maltsters cast their nets out to craft malt’s newer customer base – craft distilleries – too. This panel will discuss the American Single Malt Whiskey movement, the economics of the craft distilling industry, the dynamics of working with craft distillers, and the potential market growth the direct-to-consumer sales movement promises to craft beverage producers.

3:30-4:30 PMHow Many Square Feet of Farmland Are You Supporting by Drinking That Beer?

Speaker:  Emily Cayer (Coordinator of the Northeast Grainshed Alliance)

The Northeast Grainshed Alliance (NGA) is a group of farmers, entrepreneurs, and grain advocates collaborating to revive a system of grain grown in New England, New York, and New Jersey. As a network, we connect everyone on the grain supply chain, collaborating to strengthen the footprint of grain-based foods and beverages in our region. One new method of connecting and strengthening this footprint is through SQFT Project. The SQFT Project was launched in Fall 2021 to establish a stronger connection between Northeast farmland and our local beers, bread, and spirits. The SQFT logo that grain businesses use represents the square footage of farmland used to grow the grains in each product. For instance, a loaf of bread generally takes the grain grown on 18 square feet of land; beers generally take four square feet. The numbers in the SQFT logos on each product will help consumers connect their purchases to the work of grain farmers in our region. Brewer Barry Labendz of Kent Falls Brewing came up with the concept as he was trying to help brewery guests understand the physical link between beer and barley. A painted area of four square feet in size at the Connecticut farm brewery still helps tell the story of regional grains, and members of the NGA are excited to have a tool to spark conversations about the importance of Northeast grain farming.

5:00-6:00 PMApplying Sensory Methods to Produce and Sell Malt

Speakers:  Lindsay Barr (CSO and Founding Partner of DraughtLab) and Jen Blair (Advanced Cicerone)

Craft maltsters go through great lengths to make the best product, but in the end, success comes down to only one thing: Does the consumer like your product? In this seminar, you’ll learn how to apply tools like the Hot Steep Method and Malt Flavor Maps™ to engage your customers while informing product development decisions. Case studies from across industries will be presented to display how businesses of any size can leverage tastings to develop products and drive sales.

6:30-7:30 PM – 2022 Malt Cup Awards Ceremony

Speakers:  Hannah Turner (Montana State University Barley, Malt & Brewing Quality Lab) and Lindsay Barr (CSO and Founding Partner of DraughtLab)

Tune into the 2022 Malt Cup Awards Ceremony to learn who the winners will be for this year’s three malt style categories – Pale, Pilsen, and Pale Ale. The recipient of the 2022 Soles of Malt Award will also be named. The Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live and multi-streamed for public viewing to the Craft Maltsters Guild Facebook and Instagram channels, as well as YouTube.

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