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

Twila Soles, Grouse Malting

Twila Soles, Board MemberTwila 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.


Brent Manning, Riverbend Malt

Brant Manning, Board MemberI 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.


Joel Williamson, LINC Foods

Joel 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 home brewer 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

After 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 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

Brandon Ade, Board MemberBrandon Ade is the driving force behind establishing 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, 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.

Brandon spends his free time in Austin Texas with his wife Samantha, son Hadwin, 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.


Ashley McFarland, Michigan State University

Ashley McFarland, Board MemberAshley is the Director of the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center, which serves as the hub for malting barley research in Michigan. Ashley is also a Community Food System Educator within MSU Extension, focusing primarily on integrating traditional field crops into the local food system. Ashley holds an M.S. from Iowa State University in Environmental Science and Water Resources and a B.A. from Central College in Political Science and Environmental Studies.


Chris Schooley, Troubadour Maltings

Chris Schooley, Board MemberLocated in Fort Collins, CO, Troubadour Maltings is a small-batch maltery and malt roaster that opened in 2015 and is focused on the transparent, and local sourcing of premium barley. Schooley brings nearly two-decades of coffee sourcing and roasting expertise, working for a boutique coffee home-roaster green coffee supply outfit, and involved in the trade bodies like the Roaster’s Guild, the Rocky Mountain Craft Coffee Alliance in addition to the Colorado Brewers Guild. He and his wife Sarah have two beautiful daughters, he loves music and coffee and loves to produce the goods.


Andrea Stanley, Valley Malt

Andrea Stanley, Board MemberIn early 2010 Andrea Stanley and her husband Christian set out to start Valley Malt in their small agricultural town of Hadley, Massachusetts. Their vision was to bring a malthouse back to New England. In October 2010 Valley Malt made their first commercial batch of malt, delivering to their first customers in the family Eurovan. In March of 2012 Valley Malt quadrupled their production size and the just demand keeps coming. Andrea is passionate about malting and shares her passion with other maltsters, both aspiring and established. In 2013, she helped form the Craft Maltster’s Guild, a natural next step in this collaborative undertaking. Andrea is committed to a more transparent, regionalized food system. A malthouse in every community will help support this goal, and strengthen local family farms in the process.


Chris Swersey, Brewers Association

Chris Swersey, Board MemberChris 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

Dave Thomas, Board MemberDave 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.