Skagit Valley Malting might be the biggest thing in the local craft beer scene since Redhook.
The Burlington-based company is connecting Seattle’s brewers with local and specialty grains in ways that were not possible before the industrial-scale malting facility launched two years ago.
“A brewery that shows up here to buy from us is only one handshake away from the grower. We can almost walk to them. They are within a 10-mile radius of our plant,” Green said. “So it is really the first opportunity for most brewers to connect directly with the grower and see how it works and understand their story and their farm.”
Not since Redhook Brewery opened Seattle’s first modern craft brewery in 1981 has one business had the opportunity to make such a fundamental impact on Seattle’s craft brewing culture. And this time around, it’s not a brewery in Ballard but a malting house 60 miles north of the city.
It’s not just brewers in Seattle that are taking note of what Skagit Valley is up to. The James Beard Awards, the country’s most prestigious food awards, have honored the company with semifinalist nods three years in a row. Though Green was a semifinalist for this year’s award, he didn’t make it into the finals, which he said was somewhat of a relief: “Now I don’t need to take time off to go out to New York and deal with that.”
Skagit Valley Malting is rapidly expanding its production capacity, but the company still makes a small fraction of the malts in Washington’s beers. Green wants to change that and make sure your next beer is full of Skagit Valley character.
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