Donate to Ukrainian Refugees By Drinking This Beer.


That’s the purpose of our latest collaboration with Hi-Wire Brewing, and the simple and effective sentence also happens to be the name of the resulting pale ale that taps at all seven Hi-Wire taprooms beginning in the brewery’s three Asheville locations on Friday, April 29— and then rolling out to the remaining four taprooms in Durham, N.C., Knoxville, Tenn., Wilmington, N.C., and Louisville, Ky.

With Riverbend donating 100 percent of the malt and Hi-Wire brewing the beer, one dollar from every pint sold directly benefits refugees of Ukraine as facilitated by Asheville non-profit Svitla Nadiya – meaning “Bright Hope” in Ukrainian – an organization created specifically to direct funds and clothing to Ukranians who have been displaced by the current war with Russia.

Donate to Svitla Nadiya and learn more here. Read more about this effort on NC Beer Guys and MountainX.

Don’t miss our chat with Hi-Wire’s Luke Holgate about this beer, and what’s going on at Hi-Wire, here.


The first craft maltster in the Southeast, Riverbend Malt House, celebrated a decade in business by embarking upon a year-long campaign highlighting the cultivation, malting, and brewing of their 10th grain harvest. From said harvest Riverbend produced a specialty 10 Year Anniversary Malt, Sunset Wheat, that 15 world-class Southeastern breweries showcased in beers ranging from Hefeweizen to New England IPA. 

Overall, most of Riverbend’s growers reported high test weight and above average yields from the 2021 harvest, providing the malt house with sufficient raw material to consistently serve its 240+ brewery and distillery customers across the Southeast last year.

The darling of Riverbend’s 2021 specialty malt offerings was Sunset Wheat, Riverbend’s flagship Appalachian wheat with a warmer, Munich-style kilning regime that produced a nice mix of baking spice and toast character. This combination added depth and flavor to a wide range of  beer styles, inspiring professional brewers and homebrewers across the region. 

Ten years of harvest has come with many milestones for this trailblazing craft malt company.  Learn more about their sustainability initiatives and expanding production in Riverbend 10 Year Fact Sheet and the 2021 Riverbend Year in Review

Brent Manning, Riverbend’s Co-Founder, attributes the malt house’s growth to their commitment to quality, and their ever-strengthening relationships with farm partners. “All of this has allowed us to expand contracted acreage throughout our network and strengthen our commitment to Malt With A Mission,” he says.

As a finale to their 10 Year Harvest program, Riverbend will premiere its short film, #Riverbend10, on Earth Day, Friday April 22 via YouTube. 

Riverbend extends gratitude to their friends at the following breweries who expressed Sunset Wheat in these beers; and to their homebrew shop partners who offered this malt variety for sale. 

Bhramari Brewing Co., Obliterated Mind Rauchweizen

Crooked Can Brewing Co., Common Ground California Common

DSSOLVR, Blood of My Kin Dark English Mild

Fonta Flora, Bier de Riverbend Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Fullsteam, River Skating Winter IPA

Green Man Brewery, Riverbend10! Wheat Wine

Gypsy Road Brewing, Citra All The Way Down Hazy IPA

Kite Hill Brewing Co., Yule Love This Collaboration Winter IPA

Mason Jar Lager Company, Sunset Peach Tea Lager

Perfect Plain Brewing Co., Salt Wedge Oyster Saison 

Plankowner Brewing Co., Strange Bird IPA

Print Shop Beer Co., Decimation Double IPA 

Cellarest Beer Project & Standard Beer + Food collaboration, Sunset in Hirondella Hefeweizen

Harding House Brewery, Farm Hands Sweet Potato English Ale


Asheville Brewers Supply – Asheville, NC

Westside Bottle Shop – Athens,  GA

Riverbend Malt House was honored by the Craft Maltsters Guild with a bronze Malt Cup award for its Chesapeake Pilsner malt. The award was presented at the 2022 Craft Malt Conference.

2022 marks 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 varieties. The program awards medals for three categories– Pilsen, Pale, and Pale Ale malt. Riverbend is proud to receive the bronze award in the Pilsen category for its Chesapeake Pilsner.

Chesapeake Pilsner is produced using 2-Row barley grown in Virginia. It was born from Riverbend’s custom craft malt program, designed to create a balanced mix of bread crumb and honeysuckle flavors and a light color that allows for inclusion across a wide range of styles. “This year’s crop of Violetta barley featured plump kernels with low protein, perfect for creating a low color malt with high extract” says Brent Manning, Riverbend’s Co-Founder. “Our customers have incorporated it into a wide variety of lager and farmhouse recipes, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”

One of those customers, Elation Brewing in Norfolk, Virginia, recently went all in on Riverbend as their primary malt provider. “I attribute the cracker-y, crisp flavors in our flagship Larchmont Lager to Chesapeake Pilsner malt,” says Bob Sweeney of Elation.

“Every pound of material in this building has been evaluated for sensory evaluation,” adds Riverbend Co-Founder Brian Simpson. After ten years we’re not just selling local, we’re selling the highest quality, most consistent malt we’ve ever made.”

To place an order of the award-winning Chesapeake Pilsner or any other of Riverbend’s malts for brewers and distillers, email

Contact Emily Hutto at with media inquiries.

Riverbend Malt House is coming off of a record year in business that included significant production and footprint expansion, increased recycling and waste reduction, and a celebration of their last decade in the craft malt business, among other community milestones. Here is the Riverbend Malt House’s 2021 Year in Review.


In 2021, Riverbend Malt House added a 10-tonne Germination Kiln Vessel (GKV) unit to its production facility in June. This state-of-the-art equipment increased the overall malthouse capacity by 40 percent, enabling Riverbend to meet growing demand for craft malt among breweries and distilleries throughout the Southeast.

Throughout the year, Riverbend malted 2.6 million pounds of 14 varieties of malt, which included 20 tons of malt with 12 different flavor combinations for specialty projects.


In 2021, Riverbend proudly expanded its agricultural and sales footprints across its home state of North Carolina, as well as sourcing grain from South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Washington DC to meet industry demand for high quality craft malt that adds value and locality to craft beer and spirits made across the region. 272 breweries and distilleries purchased Riverbend craft malt last year, of which more than a third are new to the malt house’s customer base.

Environmental Commitment

In August, Riverbend announced the achievement of a recycling milestone of 100,000 pounds of rootlet material repurposed for use by nearby cattle operations. This recycling effort is one of many sustainability initiatives that Riverbend supports. Additional environmental initiatives  include electricity and natural gas consumption tracking, composting, and solid waste management.

Over the course of the year, Riverbend reduced its carbon emissions per pound of malt produced by 3.3%, composted eight tons of organic waste in partnership with the WNC Brewery Recycling Co-op, and redirected approximately 140,000 pounds of waste from landfill in 2021. “Now that the co-op is up and running, we hope to expand our efforts with customer pickup at select accounts during 2022,” says Riverbend Co-Founder Brent Manning. “We’ll work to increase efficiency with new equipment and expand our composting efforts as well.”

Read Riverbend’s full sustainability commitments report for 2021 here.

Events & Community 

In partnership with Asheville Greenworks and French Broad Chocolate, Riverbend helped to collect 3,000 pounds of garbage from the Swannanoa River. This effort will continue in 2022.

Riverbend was excited to participate in the South by Northwest collaboration with Skagit Valley Malting. In this exploration of Washington and North Carolina malt terroir Riverbend created two SMaSH (single malt and single hop) malt-forward pale ales brewed identically at DSSOLR in Asheville, North Carolina and Terramar Brewstillery in Edison, Washington. Both craft beers featured the experimental hop HBC 586 with the only variable being the base malt— both 2-row winter barley varieties grown in North Carolina and in the Skagit Valley.

Awards & Accolades 

Riverbend was proud to earn Living Wage Certified Employer status from Just Economics, the largest voluntary living wage certification in the nation. All 17 of Riverbend’s employees are compensated at or above the living wage rate established by Just Economics for Buncombe County.

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 U.S. Beer Open, the North Carolina Brewers Cup, and the National Honey Board Honey Beer Competition, among others. Congratulations to these producers for their commitment to quality that begins in the ground.

10 Year Harvest 

Riverbend worked with family farms across the Southeast to produce its highest quality and highest yielding harvest yet. This 10 year harvest included the Sunset Wheat, a Munich-style offering developed to celebrate this milestone. Professional and homebrewers across the Southeast made specialty beers with this wheat variety in commemoration, and continue to do so into 2022.

The same producers of the show Crafted that debuted on Amazon Prime earlier this year premiered a new show called The Makers on Tuesday. This digital series and podcast profiles the makers, creators, culture, and community of craft beer.

The first episode features the story of the making of Bowigens Beer Company Smooth Velvet, brewed with craft malt from Riverbend Malt House and an entire cake from Valhalla Bakery in the mash.

Smooth Velvet is an Imperial Mocha Red Velvet Ale brewed with an entire red velvet cake in the mash. Inspired by the phenomenal Red Velvet cake from Valhalla Bakery, this beer is brewed with a crafted blend of Pilsner and Munich malts along with wheat and oats from Riverbend Malt House. It is then aged on copious amounts of Madagascar vanilla beans, chocolate and freshly roasted local coffee beans from Rosso Specialty Coffee. This Imperial Red Ale is deliciously smooth with a perfect balance of flavors, and the best part is, it’s dairy free! This beer will be available on tap and in 4-packs of 16oz cans on Friday, December 17 at 12pm at both Bowigens tasting room locations. The Bowigens Casselberry location will also have a limited amount of the Valhalla Bakery Red Velvet cake available for To-Go purchase.

On Tuesday December 21st, a new podcast discussing The Makers will go live on Spotify, Apple and all other platforms where podcasts are found.

The Makers is an exciting new series for us and is a perfect extension to the Crafted brand that celebrates the vast variety and stories of craft breweries around the country,” says Craig Chapman of Crafted. “The Makers allows us to dive even deeper into the passion and stories of all the creative artisans that make craft beer.”

Watch the first episode of The Makers on Youtube.

Future episodes will come out in early 2022. The producers are still looking for great stories to tell from around the country.

ASHEVILLE, NC— Riverbend Malt House and a number of its brewing customers are excited to announce a lineup of specialty beers featuring the new Sunset Wheat Malt, in celebration of the malt house’s last decade in business. 

Earlier this month, Fonta Flora Brewery released the first of these beers, a Belgian Dark Strong-inspired ale affectionately named Bière de Riverbend. This bière, brewed with 100 percent Riverbend craft malt, was inspired by and adapted from the very first beer Fonta Flora ever put in bottles nearly six years ago. 

These world-class brewing companies will debut beers made with Riverbend’s 10 Year Harvest malt in coming weeks and months:

Bhramari Brewing Co., Rauch Weisse

DSSOLVR, Wheated Mild

Fullsteam Brewery, Winter IPA 

Green Man Brewery, Wheat Wine

Standard Beer + Food, Hefeweizen


Sunset Wheat is in stock and available for purchase, and Riverbend is eager to work with additional craft breweries on #Riverbend10 recipes featuring this malt. Place an order for Sunset Wheat by emailing

Riverbend has published a 10 Year Harvest recipe, a Sunset Wheat-based Pale Ale.  Homebrewers across the Southeast are encouraged to create their own 10 Year Harvest Pale Ales to celebrate the past 10 years of Riverbend Malt and the craft malt community that the local malthouse has helped to create. Find the recipe here

Just in time for autumn, Riverbend Malt House welcomes a new sunset-hued malt variety into its portfolio. Sunset Wheat Malt is now available for purchase by brewers and distillers across the Southeast.

This new malt is rooted in the same high quality soft red winter wheat that we use for our flagship Appalachian Wheat. From there we explored a warmer kilning regime similar to a Munich-style. This technique uses large volumes of warm, moist air to develop the building blocks for color and flavor development. The result is a malt that is reminiscent of cookie dough finished with a dash of baking spice. 

“We’ve been exploring the flavor of Southern grown grains for a decade now, and Sunset Wheat marks the next chapter for us,” says Brent Manning, Co-Founder and Director of Product Development. “We know brewers and distillers are always on the lookout for something that is rich, complex, and still highly functional.” 

Sunset Wheat Malt weighs in at 9 SRM and 90 percent extract. Diastatic power is 108. Try this malt in a wide array of styles ranging from German Weisse beers to high gravity English-style ales.

Browse the Riverbend malt library here and place an order by emailing All malt orders in October will include a free Riverbend 10 Year Harvest t-shirt, while supplies last. 

Riverbend Malt House is proud to announce its milestone of 100,000 pounds of rootlets repurposed for the nearby ecosystem of local farmers.

While not usable in the malting process, Riverbend sends the remaining husks— or rootlets— from each batch of malt to nearby farms to be repurposed as animal feed.

“This process completely closes the loop in terms of sustainability,” says Riverbend Malt House CEO Scott Hickman. “Consistent with our Malt With A Mission philosophy, kindness to the environment is important. If we create waste we want to turn it into a byproduct, or reduce the amount of waste created.”

In this case, the byproduct makes for happy cows at North Carolina farms like J4 Cattle Company in Morganton. “Our herd of steer eat close to a ton of rootlets every week. The young calves enjoy it too,” says owner Robin Jackson. “This has been a great partnership all the way around.”

Rootlet repurposing is one of Riverbend’s many tactics for lessening their environmental impact, which includes the reduction of 1,064,030 of CO2 in ten years through local sourcing within 500 miles of the malthouse.

Read the full press release here.

Riverbend Malt House today announced the successful completion of the first batch of barley malted on its new 10-tonne Germination Kiln Vessel (GKV) unit.

Read more in this press release.

Riverbend Malt House is featured as one of the “makers” in the documentary series Crafted now available on Amazon Prime.


Amazon Prime “Crafted” Season 2 featuring Riverbend Malt House now available