NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE— Bootleg Biology, Harding House Brewing Co., and Riverbend Malt House have engaged the South’s leading tastemakers to craft their expressions of ‘Modern Southern Lager’ to kickoff the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) on Sunday, May 7 at Harding House Brewing Company in The Nations neighborhood of West Nashville. 

So what is a Modern Southern Lager? Open to interpretation, this unofficial beer style ​​tends to be a dry-finishing, lower-ABV beer with a big frothy head and a hint of corn sweetness that is counterbalanced by relatively assertive hop bitterness. It pairs well with sweltering heat.

Think of this style as an update to the Pre-Prohibition Lagers that relied on 6-row barley and flaked corn to provide a lighter alternative to the all malt lagers from Europe. Now, new 2-row winter barleys are flourishing across the South and malt companies like Asheville’s Riverbend Malt House are offering craft brewers access to high quality, locally-malted barley and corn that update this style with bolder flavors. 

Riverbend and yeast laboratory Bootleg Biology have encouraged craft brewers across the South to brew their answer to the question ‘What is a Modern Southern Lager’ to serve at a celebration of long, cold fermentation at this upcoming CBC event. They’ve teamed up with host Harding House Brewing, whose dedication to local agriculture shines in unique beers brewed with plants native to Tennessee and partnerships with organizations aiming to shorten supply chains. 

Harding House and several other craft breweries in the South are currently fermenting lagers made with Riverbend malt and unique yeast strains from Bootleg Biology—  including ARL: The Southern Lager Yeast— to serve at this innovative beer showcase. “When it comes to Pilsner,” says Jeff Mello of Bootleg Biology, “The South has something to say. The lager movement is strong in our region, and it will be defined in the glass at this event.”  Look for Czech, German, and American styles reimagined with local ingredients!

Here is the current brewery list: 

BarrieHaus Beer Co. 

Barrique Brewing & Blending

The Brutalist in collaboration with King State Beer 

Cellarest Beer Project 


Fait La Force Brewing collaboration with Our Mutual Friend

Fonta Flora Brewery

Harding House Brewing Co. 

Inner Voice Brewing

Little Animals Brewery

New Anthem Beer Project 

Sceptre Brewing Arts

Soul and Spirits Brewery

TennFold Brewery 


The Southern Lager Invitational will take place on Sunday, May 7 at Harding House Brewing Co. from 7 to 10pm. All CBC participants get free entry with proof of conference participation. This inaugural event is made possible by sponsors Boelter, who are providing custom glassware for all participants, and Dynamark. Bad Luck Burger Club will be slinging their famous smash burgers. Frothy Monkey Bakery will bring breads to taste made from spent Southern Lager grain. 

Media interested in attending and or covering the Southern Lager Invitational can contact Emily Hutto at



Bootleg Biology is a full-service yeast lab for professional brewers and homebrewers. 

From our location in Nashville, TN, we’ve earned a reputation for creative cultures that meet the rigorous demands of a brewery while still satisfying brewers’ goals to push the envelope.

From crispy lagers and juicy IPAs to complex mixed fermentations, Bootleg has a culture for every brew. All of our yeast is made fresh, ensuring optimal viability and keeping you on schedule.

Our lab offers a wide range of quality control testing to ensure your product meets your high standards, including PCR testing for common contaminants, IBU testing, selective media plating and more. 



Homebrewer-turned-brewmaster Nate Underwood brought his passion for local agriculture into his brewing style at Harding House Brewing Co. This  brewery is named after the nickname given to a house he lived in on Harding Place here in Nashville, the place where the inspiration for the brewery originated. Co-owned by Matt Fung-A-Fat, Tyler Pate and Cameron Jones, Harding House strives to better the community in which it exists. This includes providing quality jobs and creating new agricultural economies. Harding House is committed to using the brewery as a place for the people of Nashville to gather and grow together. Learn more at



Riverbend Malt House is on a quest to connect Southeastern family owned farms and fermenters. Co-Founders Brent Manning and Brian Simpson launched Riverbend, the first craft malt house east of the Mississippi River, in Asheville, North Carolina in 2010. Buoyed by a 70,000 square foot production facility and state of the art equipment, Riverbend Malt House helps breweries and distilleries large, small, and in-between stand out with flavor, locality, and community in an increasingly competitive landscape— all the while challenging the status quo of corporate, big-agriculture malt. Learn more at

Happy International Women’s Day! Today and every day we tip our hats to the women who work in and support the craft malt industry.

We’re honored that so many breweries chose to craft their Pink Boots Brew Day beers with Riverbend malt this year, and we were proud to donate to many of these batches! Click the links below to meet the brews and awesome women who made them.


International Women's Day

Pink Boots Society Asheville Chapter at 12 Bones Brewing

Pink Boots Society Florida at Bold City Brewing

Pink Boots Society Greensboro Chapter at Bright Penny Brewing

Pink Boots Society Hampton Roads Chapter at Big Ugly Brewing

International Women's Day

Plankowner Brewing

In 2022, we went “on tour” to meet with many of our agriculture partners across the Southeast. Many miles driven, beers consumed, and one broken and replaced GoPro later, we are proud to present our latest film: Craft Malt Powered by Family Farms in the Southeast.

We kicked off the tour at ASR Grain Co. in Shelby, North Carolina. Here Farmer Tucker Greene showed us several fields of 2-row Calypso with low protein and high germination levels right before harvest. This yield became a key part of every batch of our Southern Select and Base Camp varieties.

Family Farms

From there we headed to the North Carolina State Extension variety testing site outside of Raleigh where we met Graduate Student Noah DeWitt who showed us the many barley varietals growing onsite, and gave us more background on his wheat research.

Also in North Carolina, we made a stop at Carter Farms to take a gander at the 2022 rye crop waving in the wind. We’ve been purchasing Abruzzi rye from Billy Carter for the last decade.

Onto Virginia, where we participated in the Virginia Tech Eastern Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center annual Field Day (read more about that here). Now retired Senior Research Associate Wynse Brooks, Program Leader Dr. Nicholas Santantonio, and Graduate Student Amelia Loeb shared their research with us and many folks from the Southeast’s small grains community who came from afar for this gathering.

These Virginia Tech researchers work closely with Bay’s Best Feed, the first farm to grow the newly developed Avalon barley variety named after Avalon Lane at the farm where the godfather of Virginia’s small grains movement Billy Dawson used to dwell. It was an honor to see this barley just before harvest and connect with the Dawson family.

Later in the season we got to visit Teeter Farm& Seed Co. in Clarksville, Tennessee where we happened to catch the malt cleaning and processing live!

Thank you to the farmers and researchers who contributed their time and knowledge to this video, and to our entire network of family farms that makes Riverbend’s malt with a mission possible. Learn more about our agricultural commitments here.

ASHEVILLE, NC— 2022 was a monumental year for Riverbend Malt House that included a 50 percent capacity increase, and deeper agricultural and environmental commitments than ever before. The malthouse was honored with a prestigious Malt Cup award for malt quality, and named one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing  private companies— among many other milestones.

Here is the Riverbend Malt House 2022 Year In Review.


Production and Capacity

In 2022, Riverbend Malt House malted 3.3 million pounds of craft malt, which included mainstay styles as well as custom and smoked malt for specialty projects.  This production level was 28 percent higher than in 2021.

In response to the growing demand for craft malt among breweries and distilleries throughout the Southeast, Riverbend Malt House added a 10 tonne steep tank and 10-tonne Germination Kiln Vessel (GKV) unit to its production facility in 2022. These equipment additions increased the malthouse’s overall craft malt production capacity by more than 50 percent. 


Local Farmers and Customers 

In 2022, Riverbend sourced grain from North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky  Virginia, Georgia and even Florida— all from family-owned farms within 500 miles of the malthouse— and worked with agricultural researchers across the region on barley research and breeding. After ten years in the making, Riverbend was one of the first malthouses in the country to malt the new Avalon barley variety developed by Virginia Tech’s Eastern Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center. 

Riverbend sold malt to more than 280 different breweries and distilleries in 2022. Nearly 100 of these are new to the malt house’s customer base.  With the overall craft brewing market falling flat in 2022, craft brewers are increasingly seeking ways to differentiate themselves, and using locally sourced high quality craft malt is one strategy employed with increasing frequency.

Distillers continue to be an important and growing segment of Riverbend’s customer base, with almost a quarter of 2022 sales going to more than 30 customers in this exciting market.  Three of Riverbend’s top 10 customers in 2022 were craft distillers.


Environmental Commitment

Over the course of the year, Riverbend reduced its carbon emissions per pound of malt produced by 2 percent. in partnership with the WNC Brewery Recycling Co-Op composted 85 tons of organic waste and diverted 16,216 pounds of polywoven plastic from the landfills through a new malt bag recycling program activated by the Asheville Brewers Alliance and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. In total, Riverbend redirected approximately 186,000 pounds of waste from landfill in 2022.


Events & Community 

In 2022, Riverbend was proud to create custom malt blends for the Athens Pink Boots Society Women’s International Brew Day beer made at Terrapin Beer Co;, and for Fullsteam Brewery’s new base malt aptly named Plow To Pint Pilsner, among other projects. 

As the largest and longest-standing malthouse in the Southeast, Riverbend was honored to share its expertise at several industry gatherings including the 2022 Craft Malt Conference and the 2022 North Carolina Craft Brewers Conference.

Riverbend was delighted to support Farm To Tap launched by the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture through a series of events and panel discussions. This initiative encourages Tennessee brewers to use Tennessee sourced ingredients in their beer, and the malthouse is thrilled to see it return in 2023. 


Awards & Accolades 

Riverbend maintained its Living Wage Certified Employer status from Just Economics, the largest voluntary Living Wage Certification in the nation. 100 percent of Riverbend’s employees are compensated at or above the living wage rate established by Just Economics for Buncombe County.  Additionally, Riverbend pays for 100 percent of employee health insurance premiums.

In February 2022, Riverbend took home a bronze award in the Craft Maltsters Guild’s Malt Cup for the Chesapeake Pilsner style.  2022 was the fourth year of this prestigious awards program— often called the Great American Beer Festival® or the Oscars® of craft malt– that recognizes craft maltsters for the quality and consistency of their malt.

In August 2022, Riverbend was named number 2804 of the fastest growing private companies in the country on the Inc. 5000 list. The annual Inc. 5000 list is one of the most prestigious rankings of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, representing top tier independent small businesses in America. Inc. 5000 status is conferred based upon a company’s cumulative revenue growth over the preceding three years. Since 2018, amid the global COVID pandemic, Riverbend has attained a revenue growth rate of 198 percent.

Throughout the year, many of Riverbend’s customers were recognized with medals from multiple awards programs for beers made with Riverbend malt– including the Great American Beer Festival®, the World Beer Cup®, the U.S. Beer Open, the North Carolina Brewers Cup, and the Virginia Craft Beer Cup. Riverbend extends congratulations to these producers for their commitment to quality that begins with their investment in ingredients.


Contact Emily Hutto at hutto@radcraftbeer with media inquiries about Riverbend Malt House. 



Riverbend Malt House is on a quest to connect Southeastern family owned farms and fermenters. Co-Founders Brent Manning and Brian Simpson launched Riverbend, the first craft malthouse east of the Mississippi River, in Asheville, North Carolina in 2010. Buoyed by a 70,000 foot production facility and state of the art equipment, Riverbend Malt House helps breweries and distilleries large, small, and in-between stand out with flavor, locality, and community in an increasingly competitive landscape— all the while challenging the status quo of corporate, big-agriculture malt. Learn more at

The climate of the commodity grain supply chain in 2022 was bleak, to say the least. Our customers vented about shipping delays and inconsistencies, corporatization, and price upsurges— all served with a side of obtuse sales strategies and degraded product quality. As occasional issues turn endemic, we continue to scrutinize our malt quality, business model, and customer service standards. And we’re proud to report that our proactive mission has mitigated reactivity to the aggressively changing malt industry.

From day one we’ve been committed to high quality malt sourced from regional, family farms that we deliver on time. It’s that simple, and we plan to keep it up.

Kate Bernot of Good Beer Hunting recently covered the ramifications of increasing malt prices on the beer industry in an impressive piece that delves into the craft malt industry at large. We were honored to be among the voices of the craft maltsters she profiled, who include Valley Malt and Root Shoot Malting. Included in the dialogue was a quote from our CEO Scott Hickman who said, “There’s been this bizarre inversion, and we have found ourselves being less expensive than a couple of the big malt suppliers in certain situations.”

Bernot’s words are a poignant, timely read for anyone involved in the industry. In so many spaces like this one she hits the nail on the head when she describes why this topic matters.

With the price gap between craft malt and commodity malt narrowing, some brewers and craft maltsters believe now is the time for craft malt to finally compete economically against its larger counterparts. Given high shipping costs, a brewery may save additional money by sourcing its malts from its region rather than from across the country or overseas.


Read the full article on Good Beer Hunting.

Conviviality – (noun) the quality of being friendly and lively; friendliness.

For good reason, face-to-face sales calls during the pandemic looked a lot different. Masks and social distancing made it tough to connect with customers sans curated tastings that had become the hallmark of our industry. Once we arrived on the other side of Omicron in early 2022, things began to ease up a bit– allowing a more comfortable vibe to return to our day to day routine. Three visits in particular stand out as prime examples of the convivial moments that I deeply missed during the pandemic. Thanks to these folks for hosting us, and sharing their craft. 


Green Bench Brewing with owner Khris Johnson

Khris was more than generous with his time, spending the better part of an afternoon walking us through his mixed culture program as well as the flagships and one-offs available. Our conversations bounced from process details to ingredient selections to industry trends. This conversation also kicked off the research and development of our new Czech-style Pilsner. Khris shared some details about a recent call he’d had with a malt house in the Czech Republic and their traditional approach to this style. It took us several attempts, but we were finally able to land a product that bends modern, aggressively germinating barley to an old world level of modification.


Tap Station with Dave Haydesch

Tap Station in Apex, NC is a super cool spot with loads of personality. Housed in an old gas station, the renovation includes a second story deck and outdoor beer garden in the heart of downtown. The interior is fitted with old car parts repurposed as lighting fixtures and draft stations. Dave plied us with tastings of several tasty beers, like their Peak City Pale Ale, which paired perfectly with the smash burgers and fancy tot platters in front of us. It definitely quenched my thirst for good conversation and genuine friendship!


Harding House Brewing Co. with Nate Underwood

I think Nate wins the award for the most thorough tasting of 2022! I mean damn… we tasted ALL the things! Granted I was long overdue for a visit as we’ve been working closely together since they opened several years back. Tons of mixture culture offerings were presented with the complete backstory on the local purveyors as well as his process tweaks in the brewhouse. There were beers made with tomatoes, foraged ingredients, and locally-grown fruits that all worked in harmony to create some really special liquid


Happy Holidays and cheers to the year ahead! 

– Brent Manning


Durham, North Carolina-based Fullsteam Brewery is a long-standing partner of ours. Years ago, they were one of the first craft breweries to go all-in on our mission by switching to Riverbend as a primary base malt provider. Utilizing local ingredients falls in line with their Southern Beer Economy ethos and dedication to sourcing within North Carolina as much as possible. 

“We were proud to support Riverbend before expansion, back when they had that tiny little malting setup,” says Jon Simpson, Fullsteam’s Head Brewer and self-proclaimed local malt advocate. “The quality has gotten infinitely better in 12 years, and we’re proud of our commitment to them— and to buying local.” 

As Fullsteam grew into two locations and distribution across the Carolinas, we’ve been delighted to support their continued choice to purchase Riverbend malt– and not just base malt either. Most recently Fullsteam has made the switch from commodity to Cumberland Corn in their flagship Paycheck Pilsner recipe. 

“Sure, craft malt is a little more expensive,” Simpson continues. “But it’s not cheap anymore to ship directly from European malthouses either. The cost-benefit of buying big domestic malt is disintegrating. And especially with the story we’re trying to tell, Riverbend malt just makes sense.” 

Fullsteam is telling the next chapter of that story with a custom base malt blended specifically for them, aptly named Plow To Pint Pilsner malt after their company slogan. It’s a blend of Violetta 2-row barley (motivated by Simpson’s love for Chesapeake Pilsner malt made from this varietal) and the brand new Avalon 2-row barley, both grown this year at Bay’s Best Feed in Heathsville, Virginia. Simpson describes this new blend as the best of Violetta’s floral and Avalon’s honey and bready notes.  He and his team engaged in every step of this custom malt process– including visiting the malthouse on raking day to do some of the labor themselves

The first beer to utilize Plow To Pint in the recipe is the second rendition of the “Oops” series, in which Simpson and crew “pick a cool hop and roll with it.” Oops! We [Nelsoned] Again is a crisp Pilsner made with Plow To Pint Pilsner malt, Nelson Sauvin™ hops from Yakima Valley, and Lallemand NovaLager™ yeast. Flavors include NZ Sauv Blanc-like tropical fruit, catty funk, and grapefruit pith. “It’s almost a SMaSH beer with a couple bags of Great Chit for head retention and mouthfeel,” Simpson says. 

There’s much more to come from the Oops series, and Simpson has exciting plans for future recipes incorporating Plow To Pint Pilsner malt. Meet Fullsteam’s beers and learn more about their company mission to craft distinctly Southern beer that celebrates the farm and food traditions of the American South at

“As I’ve said,” Simpson reiterates. “Local malt is my jam. I want to tell everyone why it matters!” 


Photo courtesy North Carolina Brewers Guild

Congratulations to our customers on taking home hardware at many industry competitions in 2022!

An array of Riverbend malt supporters won medals at the 2022 U.S. Open Beer Championship. Props to Cherry Street Brewing who earned five medals, including a gold for the the 12.12.12 made with our rye that won first place in the Barrel-Aged Barley Wine category and the Atomic Funk made with Chesapeake Pilsner that placed third in the Brett Beer category. Earlier this year, Cherry Street also earned gold at the World Beer Cup® for For-scythe Wheat made with Riverbend malted, Georgia-grown wheat.

The U.S. Open also awarded Mason Jar Lager Company with a silver for Moonlight Excursion for Baltic Porter, a silver for Alga Beer Company Dark Lager, and two medals to Oklawaha Brewing Company– a silver for Rural Brewing in the Barrel Aged Sour category, and a bronze for Bobby Bee Kellerbier.

Several of our customers in the Old Dominion State won at the Virginia Craft Beer Cup back in August. Those include Big Lick Brewing Company, Great Valley Farm Brewery and Winery, Chaos Mountain Brewing, Heliotrope Brewery, and Three Notch’d Brewing Company. See the complete winners list on

Many of our South Carolina brewery customers— including Birds Fly South Ale Project, Carolina Bauernhaus, Frothy Beard Brewing Company, Hobcaw Brewing Company, Holy City Brewing Co., Kite Hill Brewing, Liability Brewing Company, Peak Drift Brewing Co., Plankowner Brewing, Southern Barrel Brewing Co., and The Southern Growl Beer Company— were winners at the 2022 South Carolina Beer Cup.

In September, Riverbend customers from our home state scored big at the North Carolina Brewers Cup! Bhramari Brewing Co., Black Mountain Brewing, Cellarest Beer Project, Fullsteam Brewery, Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Liquid Roots, Lenny Boy Brewery, Oklawaha Brewing, and Riverside Rhapsody. The winning beers spanned styles and subsequently Riverbend malt varieties— from German-style lagers and English ales to field & spice beers and mixed culture sours, and beyond.

In October, craft breweries across the Southeast earned Great American Beer Festival® awards at this 40th annual festival that took place in Denver, Colorado over the weekend. Congratulations to our customers Blind Tiger Brewery Creature Comforts Brewing Company, Deadwords Brewing Co., Edmund’s Oast, Legion Brewing, Lenny Boy Brewing, Monday Night Brewing, New Realm Brewing, Olde Hickory Brewing Company, Orange Hat Brewing, and Pilot Brewing who won medals. The full 2022 winners list is posted on the GABF website.

This just in! Several of our customers earned recognition at the NC Beer Industry Awards Banquet during the North Carolina Craft Brewers Conference last week, including Bhramari Brewing Co., Cellarest Beer Project, Fullsteam Brewery, Green Man Brewery, Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Lenny Boy Brewery, Oklawaha Brewing, Riverside Rhapsody Beer Co., and Tap Station. Congratulations are in order for Sean Lilly Wilson, founder and Chief Executive Optimist of Fullsteam Brewery, who was honored with the prestigious Order of the Lupulin lifetime achievement award (pictured above).

Do you have an award-winning beer #madewithRiverbend, perhaps from your state brewers guild’s competition, a state fair, or otherwise? We’d love to hear all about it. Submit your beers here to be featured.

For Learn To Homebrew Day 2022, we asked Tom Hardinge to guest blog for us about his latest batch made with Riverbend! Here’s his story. 


Homebrewers are experimenters. 

Who else would take a perfectly good pint and say, “I could make that!” and then proceed to invest most of their free time and hard-earned money attempting to reproduce something that’s readily available in bulk for $19.99 at Costco? Well as it turns out, there are a lot of us… including myself.

My homebrewing journey began more than ten years ago when, after having four children in less than two years, my wife thought I could use a hobby. For most of those years, my local homebrew shop (RIP Beer Crazy!) was the go-to place for ingredients, equipment, and advice. However, like countless small businesses around the country, online competition and the need-it-now consumerism has made life difficult for many local homebrew shops. The burden became increasingly insurmountable, and by late 2019 Beer Crazy had closed its doors for good. 

Homebrewers are also innovators; we see opportunities instead of obstacles.

The closure of my local homebrew shop meant that all my ingredients now needed to be sourced online. National retailers like Northern Brewer offered name recognition and suppliers I was already familiar with. Yet because I was procuring all of my brewing components from scratch, I thought “why not see what else is out there?” even if that meant starting an entirely new process.

Which is how I found myself in the world of craft malt.

I discovered an online retailer located in Asheville, North Carolina, called Asheville Brewers Supply. ABS has an extensive selection of ingredients, including locally sourced craft malt. For my first brew using craft malt, I selected Riverbend Base Camp pale malt to use for my base malt. Per the maltster’s description, this malt is kilned at lower temperatures to create a slightly sweet, grainy profile meant to compliment hoppier offerings. 

It sounded like the perfect pairing for my fresh-hopped IPA.

The ingredients arrived quickly, and soon I found myself back in the kitchen brewing up a fresh batch of beer. Admittedly, my brewing rig is far from sophisticated, but even so… no additional modifications needed to be made for using the craft malt. By the time I had gathered my first wort running, I knew this was going to be a great batch. Light, sweet, and slightly bready, this malt would provide a delicious “backbone” for the fresh hops.

After three weeks of fermentation and packaging, the reviews were unanimous: the combination of fresh hops with this flavorful new base malt made for an irresistible beer. I’m already planning my next batch this fall, potentially a low ABV table beer using Riverbend Heritage Malt and Bloody Butcher Corn, perfect for pairing with the holiday meals that will soon fill our tables.

The loss of local homebrew stores also signals the decline of local brewing expertise outside of the professional brewing industry. Fortunately, there are resources available online to help the new brewer understand the complexities of making your own beer at home, including the benefits of using craft malt And much like supporting your favorite local brewery benefits your local economy, supporting your local farmers and maltsters by using craft malt helps create a more localized supply chain and an increasingly sustainable brewing future. Not to mention more flavorful and fresher tasting beers!

I for one am looking forward to continuing my homebrewing endeavors by utilizing craft malt.


Follow along Tom’s homebrew journey on Instagram at @dsmbrewster, and stay tuned on @riverbendmalt for updates on his holiday ale!  

The Riverbend Malt House 11 Year Harvest is cut, and we’re pleased to report that we have a tremendous amount of high-quality, locally-sourced barley to offer our customers on a consistent basis.

Here’s Our 2022 Harvest Report.


Crop Conditions 

While the spring started off cooler than normal, temperatures rose quickly throughout May and into June. Some isolated areas reported mild drought conditions due to below average rainfall during the same period. Growing degree days, a measurement of the amount of growth and development that can take place at a given temperature, increased by 10% over 2021 levels.  

Thankfully, we didn’t have to endure a lengthy rain event in late May or early June. In years past, these events have lingered for three to four days and brought several inches of rain. This combination can be disastrous for grain quality, lowering test weight and triggering pre-harvest sprout damage. 


Avalon 2-Row Barley Is Here.

The major headline from 2022’s harvest is undoubtedly the success of the new Avalon variety from Virginia Tech. This variety has been painstakingly developed over the last ten years and this summer marks the very first commercial harvest. We’ll be pulling in a limited amount of this variety as we wait patiently for additional seed stock to be grown. This year’s crop was marked by strong test weights of over 50 pounds per bushel and plump, bright kernels. 

Initial trials in the malt house have yielded exciting results, with those plumps kernels contributing to a rich, milky sweet wort. Thus far we’ve experimented with Pilsner, Pale, and Vienna recipes. Brewing and distilling trials are happening now, and the first beers made with Avalon 2-row barley will hit the taps soon. 

Read more about the Avalon variety in the Craft Maltsters Guild Field To Bench series, and our Combining Efforts blog. 

Meet A Few Of Our Farmers.

The connections between Riverbend and our farm partners is stronger than ever. We were fortunate enough to visit several of them in 2022. 

The first of our 2022 barley yield was harvested at ASR Grain Co. in Shelby, North Carolina. We got to see it with our own eyes right before it came out of the ground back in May during our farm tour. Several fields of 2-row Calypso with low protein and high germination levels from ASR will become a key part of every batch of our Southern Select and Base Camp varieties. 

We also got to visit Bay’s Best Feed in Heathsville, Virginia (pictured above) to see Violeta and Avalon 2-row barley days before cutting this spring— and it looked incredible. It was an honor to stand on Avalon Lane on Billy Dawson’s farm. We’re beyond excited about the opportunities that this varietal will yield. 

Teeter Farm & Seed Co. in Clarksville, Tennessee successfully grew Calypso and Avalon 2-row varieties for us over the 2021-22 crop year. This farm is located in one of Tennessee’s grain growing hubs just north of Nashville, an area of the state that consistently produces high-quality wheat and barley. Above average test weights and kernel sizes were observed in both varieties. The Calypso barley will be utilized in our Cumberland Pilsners, part of our single origin Pilsner series. Stay tuned for more information on the Avalon. 

2022 marked our ninth successful harvest with Carter Farms in Eagle Springs, North Carolina. True to form, this year’s crop of Abruzzi rye crop looked beautiful. Strong test weight, low DON, and solid protein levels. We got a chance to see the crop right before harvest, standing tall in the spring sunshine.

Pro tip: keep an eye out for Carter Farms’ u-pick strawberries announcements on Facebook. This part of NC gets some of the earliest berries every year. 

Lastly, we visited Long Vue Farms in Allensville, Kentucky from which we received some beautiful soft red winter wheat, with strong test weights and plump kernels— perfect for the upcoming batches of Appalachian Wheat. 

We believe that building these types of relationships is essential to creating a local food system for craft beer and spirits. We’ll take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for their commitment to sustainable practices that make for quality malt– and eventually value added beverages. 

Learn even more about the growers in Riverbend’s network here.