Beer fans enjoy more pints with Scottish barley

SCOTLAND’S craft brewers are poised to get more access to Scottish malted barley thanks to equipment that can handle smaller bags.

Crisp Malt has spent £2 million installing a packaging line at its plant in Alloa.

At the moment, craft brewers that can’t buy large quantities of malt either need to buy Scottish malt that’s been transported to England, bagged and then brought back again, or English malt.

The new facility is expected to cut the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by the brewing industry by cutting down on the number of journeys made by lorries.

John Hutcheson, who grows barley at Leckerstone Farm near Dunfermline, less than 20 miles from Crisp’s site, said: “It’s good to know that our barley stays in Scotland and, through Crisp, there is a direct connection with a Scottish brewery.

“Provenance has become so important for consumers and brands and having this focus on a local supply chain allows provenance to be tracked from the field right through to the beer.

“For farmers, this preserves the identity of the barley and it becomes not just part of the brewing process, but part of the story of the beer itself.”

Ed Evans, the head brewer at Cold Town Beer in Edinburgh, said: “This is an exciting development because it means we can source Scottish malt locally, cut down on carbon footprint and it also allows us to proudly tell our consumers exactly where the malt in their beer comes from.”

Hilary Jones, chair of trade body Scotland Food & Drink’s Brewing Industry Leadership Group, added: “The craft sector in particular has been crying out for Scottish-sourced small batches of malt, in bags rather than through bulk delivery.”

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