Using barley grown and malted in Moray to produce PIONEER has helped us to explore how we might set up a sustainable model for the future that will benefit us, other microbrewers, farmers and the local economy.
We’re now looking forward to finding out if customers engage with the idea of a brew with local provenance and a low carbon footprint. By which we mean, will it sell well?
After that we’ll continue having conversations with local farmers, malting houses and other brewers as well as our transnational collaboration partners in Wallonia, Belgium. We’ll share ideas and expertise to see if we can come up with a production model that offers a fair price for the farmer, works for the malting house and allows us access to local grain at an affordable price.
It’s not as easy as it sounds because each party has different needs. Moray is set up to service the whisky industry, which produces alcohol in large volumes. Farmers grow barley that’s good for whisky malt but at the brewery we need a small volume of a different type of grain.
The amount we’ve used for this project took up about two strips of a field, that’s all. What’s more, the malting houses in Moray have a minimum batch size that’s bigger or as big as our annual usage! So their equipment can’t deal with our smaller scale needs.
In addition, barley is normally bought and sold through a chain of grain factors and as a small customer, it’s hard for us to ‘buy local.’ We hope that through the conversations that this project has started, our vision to produce beer with local malt might one day become a reality.
Why don’t you TRY SOMETHING NEW?