Craft malt production in North America has increased by an impressive 60 percent since 2019, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the Craft Maltsters Guild. In 2022, small independent malthouses estimate they will produce 24.7 million pounds of craft malt, up from 15.1 million pounds three years ago. 2023 production is projected to top out at 31.8 million pounds, another 30 percent rise on top of current growth.

A total of 38 craft malthouses responded to the survey sent to producers across the United States and Canada in July. Responses showed that despite the difficulties craft maltsters faced during the pandemic, a majority are recovering with nearly 87 percent experiencing sales comparable to pre-pandemic levels. 

“Over the past year, many Member Malthouses have told me their sales had recovered to near or above previous years,” notes Guild Executive Director Jesse Bussard. “Due to this increased revenue, many subsequently have expansions in the works. There are also several developing operations getting ready to come online. It is fantastic to see the data support what we’ve been hearing and seeing anecdotally.” 

The number of operating craft malthouses has climbed steadily over the past decade. Since 2013, the Guild has grown from 8 founding Member Malthouses to 67 today. 12 are located in Canada and the remaining 55 are in the United States. 

Along with boosted production and recouped sales, the short survey made clear malthouses are also making significant investments in their operations. Approximately 70 percent of those surveyed reported making substantial capital improvements or expansions to their facilities since 2020 ranging from $50,000 or less to greater than $1 million. Among the investments made, 38 percent fell within the $50,000 to $200,000 range, another 14 percent ranged between $500,000 and $1 million, and 21 percent were $1 million or more. 8 percent of respondents indicated they spent $50,000 or less and 19 percent made no additional investments.

Our latest survey shows some very encouraging trends for our industry,” says Board President, Brent Manning of Riverbend Malt House. “Our members are enjoying an increase in sales and making significant investments to bring more capacity online in the next twelve months.”

For more information, contact Jesse Bussard at [email protected]