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Nordic Malt House

  • Publisert 24.02.2010
  • Sist oppdatert 20.05.2011
The main objective of the "Nordic Malt House" project was to establish a network consisting of Nordic brewers with the purpose of identifying strengths and potentials in the development of a Nordic malt category. The aim was to develop a democratic business model for malting smaller batches of grain with special characteristics.
Rapport

Looking at the brewing industry, it is evident that malt has turned into a global bulk commodity. Only a handful of malt houses serve the needs of the beer industry and small scale brewing is almost solely carried out with malt imported from either Germany or UK.

 

Focusing on our Nordic climate and heritage will allow us to develop new differentiation parameters for Nordic brewing, hereby creating a more diversified beer market and a stronger position on the export market. However, the micro breweries will not be able to lift this task individually. The development of a Nordic malt category calls for a democratic model of cooperation: Locally or regionally based malting facilities where breweries can source Nordic malt types in relevant quantities.

 

Malt is the most important raw ingredient in beer production, providing both flavor, aroma, colour and the sugars that make the fermentation possible. Malt is produced from the germination and subsequent kilning of grains, hereby creating an enzymatic process that transforms starch into fermentable sugars. The most commonly used grain type for malt production is barley, but other grain types, e.g. rye, wheat and oat, are used as well.

 

The background for the project dates back to 2006 where Meyers assisted Carlsberg in hosting the ‘Nordic Brewer Symposium’. On the symposium the lack of unique raw ingredients was identified as a barrier in the breweries efforts to create a unique profile. Two main challenges were defined: one concerning hops and one concerning malt.

 

Creating awareness about taste characteristics is a major challenge that needs to be addressed before larger quantities of regionally or locally produced malt can be marketed. The challenge is that little if any knowledge exists on malt’s impact on flavour and aroma besides an industrial definition focusing on identifying off-flavours. Hence the whole language about taste has to be addressed and developed as a prerequisite to identifying the characteristics of a Nordic malt type. 

 

The project has addressed the challenge of creating:

  1. Activities that will stimulate the development of a vocabulary that can describe the sensory characteristics in relation to malt
  2. An increased demand for Nordic malts
  3. A business model that can be expanded both in number (more small cost efficient malt houses) and in size (economies of scale)

Project duration: May 2007 - April 2009

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