SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – A local farming co-op is getting ready to create the first craft malting company in the Inland Northwest.
Palouse Pint will malt strictly local grains to provide to local beer brewers and distillers. The company is an offshoot of farming co-op LINC foods.
Joel Williamson is what you call a maltster. It is essentially a fancy term for someone who is passionate about malted barley, the backbone of beer. Williamson made his own beer at home for a while. He then got curious about one of the drink's primary ingredients.
"The grain, I thought, we're surrounded by grain. But why can't I buy any of that? I don't know where it comes from," said Williamson.
Then, enter Linc Foods, a local farmers co-op. They are starting up Palouse Pint with the help of Williamson. On Tuesday they received much of their malting equipment. Malting is the process of taking raw barley and then essentially soaking it and drying it out so it becomes perfect for both brewers and distillers to use.
Normally, brewers will get their malted barley from just a handful of large-scale national companies with grains from who knows where. Palouse Pint will only take grains from local farmers with the intent of them selling that malted barley to local brewers,
"For brewers, I think we'll be able to create very unique flavors for them," said Williamson.
Palouse Pint hopes to start distributing malted barley in early March.