Friday, December 1, 2017

Local Malt On Tap at Area Breweries

Grizzly Peak head brewer Duncan Williams and Macon Creek Malt House co-owner Zach Goldenberg. Photo: Macon Creek Malt House

This just in over the transom:
In the works since 2015, Macon Creek Malt House in Saline has recently opened its doors to home brewers, commercial brewers, distillers, and artisanal food manufacturers. The rebirth of the corner brewery and the rise of craft distilleries has made Michigan one of the country’s leaders in the craft beverage industry. While recent years have shown enormous growth in hops production, the primary ingredient in craft beer – malted barley – is still largely imported. Macon Creek Malt House is bringing craft malting to Michigan, connecting small farmers with small brewers to produce a truly local beer.

Salt Springs Brewery, a farm-to-table restaurant and brewery in Saline, was eager to try them out. Ed Brosius, head brewer, recently brewed a maibock using Macon Creek’s pale Munich malt. The beer, named Macon Creek Maibock, will be on tap in December.

Duncan Williams, head brewer at Grizzly Peak Brewing Company in Ann Arbor, has also brewed with Macon Creek’s pale Munich malt, as well as their pilsner malt. Duncan invited Macon Creek maltsters Zach Goldenberg and Austin Wertheimer to assist with brewing back in October. Macon Rose Pale Ale is now on tap. This well-balanced pale ale features all Michigan ingredients: malt from Macon Creek Malt House and hops from Two Rose Hop Farm in Manchester.

Original Gravity Brewing Company in Milan and Poison Frog Brewery in Jackson will also be featuring beers made with Macon Creek’s malts this winter. Next week, Original Gravity will release a session IPA with malted rye, spelt, and Macon Creek’s pale munich. Poison Frog Brewery is currently brewing both a cream ale and a classic American pilsner with local malts.

All of Macon Creek Malt House’s grains are grown in Michigan. “We currently buy from five farms in Southeast Michigan. That list will get longer as we increase production. In 2018, we’ll have barley grown right here in Saline,” says Megan Goldenberg, owner of Macon Creek. Megan manages contracting with local growers and other general business activities, while her husband, Zach, manages malt production with Austin Wertheimer.

Home brewers are also buying local grains directly from Macon Creek Malt House during their “open hours” and through their online store (maconcreekmalt.com). To learn more about Macon Creek’s efforts to support truly local craft beverages, visit them on Thursday, December 14, between 4pm and 8pm at their malt house, 781 W. Michigan Ave., Saline.

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