Entry submission window runs from September 19 through October 17, 2022

The fifth annual Malt Cup will expand to four categories in 2023. These include three previously featured malt styles – Pale, Pilsen, and Light Munich (last featured in 2020), and the newest addition: Vienna. Similar to past years, entrants stand to receive top value in the form of comprehensive feedback on their malts, plus the potential to bring home bragging rights, beautifully handcrafted medals, and possibly the Best of Show Malt Cup, a traveling trophy (pictured) awarded annually to the best overall malt entry.

The competition is open to Guild Member, International, and Allied Trade Malthouses in good standing. The Guild will accept submissions over a four-week period starting the week after Craft Malt Week on Monday, September 19, through Monday, October 17, 2022. 

The Malt Cup is a one-of-a-kind competition that allows maltsters the opportunity to receive valuable feedback on their malt products. It’s not only a chance to win accolades, but it also provides the following substantial rewards.

  • All samples entered receive a malt quality Certificate of Analysis (CoA) report from Montana State University’s Barley, Malt & Brewing Quality Lab. Alone, this certificate is valued at over $100.
  • Entrants get a full report of all entry CoAs for the categories entered. This is given with blind codes so an entry can be found and compared to the rest of the group. (Note: All entries remain anonymous.)
  • Entries passing the scrutiny of round one’s quality testing go on to sensory evaluation. These samples are sent around the country to industry professionals including non-entering maltsters, brewers, distillers, researchers, and Master Cicerones. Judges evaluate malts in-replicate via DraughtLab. A comprehensive sensory report is generated for each of these malts and included in each entrant’s packet.
  • Should an entry make it to the third and final round of judging, Best of Show, it will undergo additional review from industry judges as they examine malts for both sensory and quality attributes.

The high level of feedback Malt Cup entrants receive is not available anywhere else. “Put simply, everyone who enters this competition is a winner, some maltsters just also get to come away with some well-deserved hardware,” says Craft Maltsters Guild Executive Director, Jesse Bussard.

Along with upholding malt quality standards, this event spotlights the growing excitement around craft malt and how our strong grassroots participation makes this competition possible. In 2022, 118 individual judges from across North America helped to determine the top winners. Variety also continues to matter at all levels from regional adaptation to sensory to marketability. Among the 58 entries received in 2022 – a total of 23 different malting barley varieties from 25 different malthouses were represented across the three featured categories – Pale, Pilsen, and Pale Ale. To date, fourteen Member Malthouses and two International Malthouses in the Guild community have received awards for their winning malts. 

Entries should be submitted between September 19 and October 17, 2022. This entry window has a hard deadline, so maltsters should start planning their entries now. For full competition details and entry registration, visit the competition webpage.

The Guild hopes to continue to grow the Malt Cup community – so whether competing or interested in judging – contact Guild Executive Director, Jesse Bussard ([email protected]) to find out how to get involved.

Photo courtesy of Rabbit Hill Malthouse, the 2022 Malt Cup Best of Show winner.