Malting firm toasts new £2m site in Alloa

Malting company Crisp Malt is opening a £2 million packaging line in Alloa that it says provides more access to Scottish barley grown, malted and packaged in Scotland, benefiting the environment, farmers and craft brewers.

The new facility has four 60-tonne silos that can package up to 7,000 tonnes a year. Picture: Mike Wilkinson.
The new facility has four 60-tonne silos that can package up to 7,000 tonnes a year. Picture: Mike Wilkinson.

The Norfolk-based firm said its Alloa maltings currently produces 28,000 tonnes of malt for brewers and distillers across Scotland, while the new packaging facility has four 60-tonne silos that can tackle up to 7,000 tonnes a year.

As well as supplying the Scottish brewing industry, the new facility will see Crisp expand its export activities to support the growing craft beer movement worldwide, with Scottish malt being distributed to markets such as the US, Japan and Scandinavia.

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Crisp’s new facility at Alloa will provide a flexible service for its growing customer base of smaller brewers in particular – for example, allowing them to come and collect smaller orders, something that larger maltsters don’t offer, with appropriate Covid-19 health and safety measures in place.

The firm’s investment in infrastructure in Scotland, which comes as it celebrates its 150th anniversary, supports two key issues around sustainability and supply chain identified in a Scotland Food & Drink Partnership report.

Crisp’s new facility means HGV miles will be reduced by up to 35,000 a year, and around 90 per cent of the barley for the firm’s Alloa maltings is sourced from Scottish farms within a 50-mile radius of the site.

Hilary Jones, chair of Scotland Food & Drink’s brewing industry leadership group, said: “We really welcome this response to one of our recommendations for unblocking barriers to growth for brewers in Scotland. The craft sector in particular has been crying out for Scottish-sourced small batches of malt, in bags rather than through bulk delivery. This is great news.”

Colin Johnston, craft brewing and distilling sales manager at Crisp, said: “I’m exceptionally proud that we are able to support Scottish farmers in this way by maintaining the provenance of their crop right through to a pint produced in a craft brewery in Scotland. Not only this, but by packaging it in Scotland we are cutting a substantial number of road miles and subsequently reducing our carbon impact.”

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