At the three month mark in the AdvancingAg program, I am off to a great start learning about brewing and malting. During the Alberta Open Farm Days weekend on August 26th, I toured the Crop Development Centre (CDC) in Lacombe, as well as Red Shed Malting in Penhold. Both visits provided plenty of information on the malting side of things.
At the CDC, I met with the head of research and barley breeder, Flavio Capettini. He explained the general process for breeding malt barley varieties, and some desirable characteristics they look for when evaluating potential varieties. I learned that it takes about 14 years for a variety to enter the breeding program to the time it is available for farmers to grow. Wow!
My next stop was Red Shed Malting, which is run by my mentor, Matt Hamill. Siding 14 Brewing out of Ponoka was also there to display an end use for Red Shed’s malt products. Matt toured me through their malting equipment and process, and Siding 14 provided some background information on the brewing process and inputs. In addition to brewing, Siding 14 supplies some of its own hops and malt barley. This was a great tour, as it encompassed several aspects of the brewing industry, all in one location.
I have really enjoyed my learning opportunities so far in the program. I’m looking forward to the next step in my roadmap, which will take me to Oregon to continue to learn about malting and brewing.