Malt Barley Woes are Bad News for Beer

Ron Kalvig


That rain on the plain that saturated Montana’s malt barley crop in late August could be tears in the beer of American brewers in 2015.

Heavy late-August rains have damaged crops in the nation’s largest malt-barley producing states, Montana and Idaho. The rains caused much of the states’ barley to sprout in the field, rendering much of it useless for beer making.

Maltsters are warning brewers that barley will be available but pricey in 2015 when this year’s crop becomes next year’s beer ingredient.

“We’ve been told to expect major price increases for malt,” said Tim Mohr of Angry Hank’s Brewery in Billings. “There is no panic yet. Everybody has been telling us not to panic. There is carry-over from last year’s malt supply. Our prices are stable until January, but beer prices are going up.”

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