Skagit Valley Malting
Skagit Valley, WA
65 miles away from our home in Ballard, Skagit Valley Malting focuses on drawing out the most vibrant flavors from a colorful spectrum of grains. Whether it be mainstay varieties or innovative exploratory hybrids, the quality of their specialty malts provides a wellspring of unique flavor possibilities to explore in our Saisons.
The cool marine temperatures and abundance of moisture in the Skagit Valley makes it an ideal clime for agriculture, with the top 2% of non-irrigated soil quality in the world. This allows SVM to grow specialty grains from around the world and cultivate them in the region’s unique soil and growing conditions. This leads to malts with undeniable character. In turn, it means the foundation of our Saisons have a distinct connection to our beautiful home in the Pacific Northwest.
“Is there a way to take what’s already growing here and increase its value?” – Wayne Carpenter, Founder of Skagit Valley Malting
A massive amount of barley grown in the valley is usually either sold as cattle feed at a fractional price or re-tilled back into the soil. After a failed attempt to sell the grain to a larger commercial malthouse, Wayne’s background in engineering and determination led to the construction of a malting vessel that would eventually become the foundation of Skagit Valley Malting. The pilot system served not only as a proof of concept that Skagit’s barley could effectively be malted, but also that this specifically designed vessel could be tailored to the valley’s unique growing conditions and produce exceptional malts with true terroir.
“SVM has a level of control and precision in their malts that would be impossible to achieve on a commodity scale.”
Nowadays, with a staff comprising fabricators, sanitary welders, and brewers, SVM operates 7 of these single vessel malters with a total capacity of 175 tons of malt per month. Every step of the process – steeping, germinating, and kilning – occurs in the same vessel, programmed specifically for each grain to produce the best possible end result. And since no component of these machines can be bought off the shelf, SVM has a level of control and precision in their malts that would be impossible to achieve on a commodity scale.
Even beyond identifying with locally grown grains and superior flavors through the malting process, we’re proud to partner with SVM because of their unwavering commitment to conserving the outstanding agricultural region of the Skagit Valley. Without their barley and wheat, our house beer Madame R. Galle simply wouldn’t be the same. This foundation gives our flagship, and every beer we make with SVM malt, a specific sense of place – one we’re proud to call home.