The North American Craft Maltsters Guild (CMG) Board of Directors is a group of individuals dedicated to holding craft malting to the highest standards. The members of the board of directors are elected by the members of the Guild. The directors shall be responsible for the general administration of the association’s activities and with creating the policy on behalf of the Guild.

Current Board of Directors

President: Brent Manning, Riverbend Malt

Board of Directors - Craft Maltsters GuildI used to be an environmental consultant and still occasionally moonlight as one. Chasing this profession meant that I sat through a lot of school, got a few degrees to hang on the wall, and added a few letters after my name. Then the development bubble burst and I started to see the world through a different lens. This lens helped me focus on developing my current career, one that bridges the gap between farmers and consumers by creating a local food system. When I’m not turning malt, I run our fledgling R&D department, which consists of a five-gallon homebrew system and a few carboys. And when no one is watching, I slip out the back door to enjoy our wonderful mountains on foot or bike.

Twila Soles, Grouse Malting

Board of Directors - Craft Maltsters GuildTwila Henley earned an undergraduate degree in Nutrition from Miami University and a Master’s degree in Food Science & Food Safety from Colorado State University. For graduate studies, she focused on malting and brewing science and bioactive and probiotic compounds. She took second place in 2013s University of Northern Colorado’s Entrepreneur Challenge earning Grouse $15,000 and is a Founding Board Member of the North American Craft Maltster’s Guild.

Joel Williamson, LINC Foods

Board of Directors - Craft Maltsters GuildJoel grew up in Spokane county working on his family rose growing farm and greenhouse. He has spent the last 10 years working for a more just society through art, community organizing, local government, non-profit management, and now through business. Joel is earned his MBA with an emphasis in Finance and is interested in creating local and alternative financial intermediaries which would put Spokane money to work improving the local economy. He has been an avid homebrewer for 6 years and co-founded LINC Foods, a worker and farmer-owned cooperative with a new craft malting operation at its heart.


Joel Alex, Blue Ox Malthouse

Board of Directors - Craft Maltsters GuildAfter years working in diverse education and non-profit backgrounds focusing in ecology education and geospatial (mapping) technologies, Joel was on track in 2012 to go to graduate school for rural economic development and social entrepreneurship. Sidetracked by a conversation with a craft brewer who asked “where’s the local malt?”, Joel found himself quickly being drawn deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of malt and by 2013 he had transitioned full time to making a Maine-based malthouse a reality.

After 18 months based out of a car and thousands of hours of research, experimenting, and capacity building, Blue Ox Malthouse began to build out of its floor malting facility in 2015 and began producing its first large-scale commercial batches that same year. Joe has received numerous recognition for his efforts in entrepreneurship and economic development and spends what little free time he has supporting environmental education and the folk arts.

Brandon Ade, Blacklands Malt

Board of Directors - Craft Maltsters Guild

Brandon Ade is the driving force behind malting barley production in Texas. Before 2013 malt was not produced in Texas for the brewing, distilling, and baking industries. Not one to wait around for someone else to solve the imminent need for Texas malt, Brandon founded Blacklands Malt in 2012, the first independent community malthouse in Texas history.  Like many small malthouse operators across the country, Brandon’s passion is to take the good sense of sustainable local food production and connect people to the land around them through unique foods and beverages. His experience with malthouse operations has now led him into professional malting consultation as well.

Brandon spends his free time in Austin Texas with his wife Samantha, sons Hadwin and Bruce, and two fur-babies Riker and Barley. He plays acoustic guitar to wind-down and officiates weddings for very close friends. He was trained in malting at CMBTC in Winnipeg.

Chris Swersey, Brewers Association

Board of Directors - Craft Maltsters GuildChris Swersey is the Brewers Association (BA) Supply Chain Specialist. He came to malt thru brewpub brewer eyes, remembering when malt used to come from a 50-pound brown bag. Now it comes from fields on family farms. He is an avid fly fisherman, river business owner, scuba diver, swimmer. “Water is my thing…”



Dave Thomas, Brewer Emeritus Dostal Alley

Board of Directors - Craft Maltsters GuildDave Thomas. Dave is Brewer Emeritus at Dostal Alley Brewpub in Central City, Colorado; Executive Brewing Consultant for Ecolab (St. Paul, MN) and a print journalist for The Brewer and Distiller International (London, England). He has written two books. The first, “Of Mines & Beer!” relates the history of 19th century Colorado breweries. His second book, The Craft Maltsters’ Handbook, was written to capture much of Dave’s malting experience for the 90+ startup craft maltsters in North America. He is currently consulting directly with several new craft maltsters on plant design and operations.

Hannah Turner, Montana State University

Hannah is the Director of the Montana State University Barley Genetics and Malt Board of Directors - Craft Maltsters GuildQuality Lab. This lab services the MSU Breeding Program and works to improve barley of all types with a focus on malt barley. The Malt Quality Lab also supports the region by providing barley and malt testing for farmers and craft maltsters. Hannah has a strong devotion to the agricultural industry of Montana and believes in fortifying the farming, malting, and brewing/distilling community through outreach and education. Hannah received an M.S. in Plant Science as well as a B.S. in Environmental Horticulture from Montana State University. In her free time, Hannah enjoys all things outdoors including snowboarding, hiking, camping, and particularly gardening.

Jeff Malkiewicz, Great Lakes Malting Co.

Jeff co-founded Great Lakes Malting Company back in 2016. His mission is to support theBoard of Directors - Craft Maltsters Guild Midwest’s small grains industry and produce the finest quality malts for breweries and distilleries. As a member of the Craft Maltsters Guild board of directors, Jeff’s goal is to oversee the continued growth in membership and support quality and technical assistance initiatives. He resides with his wife and two dogs in Traverse City, Michigan and enjoys hiking and spending time on Lake Michigan.


Hillary Barile, Rabbit Hill Farms

Board of Directors - Craft Maltsters Guild



Jen Blair, Executive Director

Jen Blair is the Executive Director of the North American Craft Maltsters Guild. She is an Advanced Cicerone® and Certified BJCP Beer Judge currently working toward her National BJCP Beer Judge certification. An avid all-grain homebrewer, Jen is also the current President of the Carolina BrewMasters as well as a member of the American Homebrewers Association Governing Committee.



Learn more about the Guild here.