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
I 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
Twila 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.
Brandon Ade, Blacklands Malt
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
Chris 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. 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 Quality 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 the 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
Hillary Barile is a 5th generation farmer and head maltster for Rabbit Hill Farms and Malthouse, a producer of NJ grown ingredients for craft brewers and distillers. The family farm also grows sod and commodity grains on the 585 acres in southern NJ. Along with her brother, Hillary initiated the farm’s transition from vegetable farming to the production of malting barley with the construction of their craft malthouse in 2016. Since then, Rabbit Hill has focused on the production of base malts in their 1-ton floor malting facility with the goal of helping brewers and distillers explore what contribution grains can have to developing a regional flavor. As a former student of Environmental Chemistry and Farmland Conservation Planner, Hillary is particularly interested in finding strategies to build more environmentally and economically sustainable farm systems – starting with her own land. She lives on the farm with her husband and two sons.
Mike Driscoll, Harvest Hop & Malt
I’ve lost track of which career number malting represents.
Originally trained as a Metallurgical Engineer, I worked in manufacturing plants over the years, taking breaks to get an MBA, work at a transportation research institute, and open a craft brewery. Twenty-six years ago, I left the soulless corporate world to be a consultant. I helped non-profits with strategic and financial planning, advised new co-operative businesses, designed and installed ISO 9000 systems, taught a variety of technical and business courses at our local college and co-wrote a new technology implementation curriculum for the Business Development Bank of Canada.
My wife, Doris, has been my rock and is now the main investor in the malting business. Her support has also included endless home renovations, a couple of Alfa Romeo restorations, and my harmonica fuelled singer-songwriter attempts! We grow and preserve homegrown veggies, supplemented by our local farmers’ market.
James Weed, Solstice Malt
After only a few months of homebrewing, James Weed came home from an all-grain brewing demonstration asking the question, “Where does malt come from?” It didn’t take long before he became determined to open a malthouse of his own–the first in Utah since the 1960s. After four long years of research, collecting vintage equipment in his driveway, and building a malt house from the ground up, James transitioned from working in the world of finance to running Solstice Malt full time. He is primarily motivated by the desire to connect local farmers with consumers here in Utah as a way to support the local economy. When he’s not tending to the malt, James enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters.
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.