Alberta might not have the hop prowess of our western neighbours in B.C., but as the craft beer scene rapidly expands under new provincial rules, micro-maltsters are popping up to bring local barley to local brews.
“We’re a craft maltster, so we’re producing specialty malts for the craft brewing industry here in Alberta,” explains Joe Hamill from Red Shed Malting.
Malt is the backbone to beer, adding flavour and colour that helps separate a dark beer like a porter from lighter fair like a pale ale. The barley on which it relies is abundant in Alberta.
Calgary is already home to the country’s largest malt company, Canada Malting, but small-batch producers are a new, and still small, phenomena — two and counting.