Behind The Scenes: Craft Malt Powered by Family Farms

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.