When a brewer or a brewery talks about becoming completely self-reliant, it is the need for malted grains that stops the conversation. Without going into excruciating detail about the ins and outs of the malting process, let’s just say it’s not an easy thing to do on a large scale. Actually, large scale or not, malting barley is tricky business.
John Maier, the legendary brewmaster extraordinaire at Rogue, is about to begin dabbling in the alchemy that is steeping, germinating and drying his own grain. We just received this press release from the Rogue Nation.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rogue Nation Breaks Ground on Floor Malting Facility
TYGH VALLEY, OR, June 28, 2010 – The Rogue Nation Department of Agriculture has broken ground on the Rogue Malt Floor located on the Rogue Micro Barley Farm in Oregon’s Tygh Valley Appellation.
The Malt Floor will be a Heritage-malting operation in which Rogue Farm barley will be soaked, floor-germinated, hand-raked on the malt floor, roasted in a brick hearth, and bagged in small batches. Rogue Brewmaster John Maier plans on developing 4-6 varieties of floor malt that will be used in the brewing and distilling of Rogue Ales, Porters, Stouts, Lagers, and Whiskies.
Floor malting began in the 19th century but was gradually replaced by automated equipment that helped reduce labor costs. With the establishment of the malt floor, Rogue joins a select handful of floor maltsters in Germany, England, and the Czech Republic that continue to carry on the heritage malting method.
The Malt Floor will be complete and operational in August — in time for the Rogue Farm barley harvest. Complimentary tours of the Malt Floor will be provided and will also include tours of Rogue rock, Rogue-henge, Rogue creek, and the Rogue fishing pond.
The Rogue Nation Department of Agriculture remains committed to saving the terroir of Oregon hops and barley, one acre at a time, by growing its own.
For more information on the Rogue Malt Floor, Farm tours, or Rogue’s Grow Your Own revolution, contact the Rogue Department of Agriculture at 503.241.3800.
Updates on the progress of the Malt Floor will be provided at www.rogue.com/meetinghalls.