Mexican Microbrewers Tour Montana
GREAT FALLS, Montana — Barley acreage may be decreasing in other parts of the nation, but that is not the case in Montana. This year Montana’s barley growers seeded over one million acres of the crop, most of which is destined to become beer. Demand for malt barley among large and small brewers around the world, including Montana’s own growing microbrew industry, has driven the increase in acreage. The US has seen a huge increase in small brewers in the past 15 years and the craft brewing movement is beginning to grow in other countries, especially Mexico.
Six brewers from Mexico will travel through Montana learning about the barley industry from farm to glass. The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, along with US Grains Council, will host the team on their “Know Barley, Know Beer,” tour. The trade team will meet barley breeders, tour a distillery and brewery, meet with local farmers and tour the Great Falls Malteurop plant. The group will also have the opportunity to visit the Montana State Capitol to meet with Governor Steve Bullock and discuss the future of malt barley production in Montana. “Agriculture is Montana’s number one industry and expanding export markets for our agricultural products is critical to the continued success of the state’s economy. Montana is ready to meet the demand for high quality malting barley around the world,” stated Governor Bullock.
In recent years, barley has been the number one agricultural commodity exported from the United States to Mexico with many of those bushels originating in Montana. The large Mexican brewers have long appreciated the consistency and reliability of Montana barley and now Mexico’s microbrewers feel Montana barley is a perfect fit for their end product. “Montana barley is known throughout the industry for its consistent quality, high extraction, and good flavor,” said Collin Watters, Executive Vice President of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, “we look forward to helping this team and other brewers worldwide source malt and malting barley from Montana.”
Source: Montana Wheat and Barley Committee
Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS: Barley crop near Bozeman, MT. July 2011