People are Talking About our Rye Malt, and Here’s Why

Seashore Black Rye Malt

Here at Riverbend, we’re passionate about rye malt. That’s why all of our malted rye styles are made with heirloom varieties that can be traced back hundreds of years. With four distinct malts offering flavors from earthy to spicy, we have a rye that fits your next project. Thanks to all of these Riverbend customers who told us why they love our malted rye.  

Meet our Rye Malt Lineup

Carolina Rye

Made from an heirloom rye grain variety called Wrens Abruzzi that has been grown in the south for over 200 years, this malted rye has a classic herbal spice blend flavor of earthy black peppercorn and citrus. 

Newgrass Brewing in North Carolina uses our pilsner and rye malts in their lineup, and of that, brewmaster Lewis McCallister says, “We could get malt from the Upper Midwest or Europe with a more neutral flavor, but we appreciate the rustic, grainy character of Riverbend rye malt.”

South Main Brewing, based in Georgia, loves all things Carolina Rye. According to Nic Farley, Co-Owner and Head Brewer, “We use Carolina Rye in a few of our recipes, including 53 & Rosemary Saison and That’s Rye’ght Hazy IPA. We love how the spiciness of the rye plays with citrusy hops.”

Munich Rye

Also crafted using Wrens Abruzzi, the Munich Rye malt is an evolution of our Carolina Rye malt that’s kilned at higher temperatures. Produced in much the same way as Dark Munich and Light Munich 2-Row malts. The rye is stewed while holding a higher moisture content in the kiln.  This process braises the grains and brings forth a more profound expression of the rye with flavors with notes of pumpernickel, wildflower honey, cardamon, and allspice.

“I was lucky enough to try Munich Rye right as it came out of the kiln, and I immediately thought of Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal,” remarked Jennifer Currier, Head Brewer and Blender at Wicked Weed Brewing’s Funk House. “Its warming, spicy, brown sugar notes are a perfect match for a beer we brew called Pompoen, a sour amber ale fermented with pumpkin.”

Georgia-based Beacon Brewing Co. uses eleven of our craft malts throughout their brew lineup, but Dave Hash, Head Brewer, says he does have a favorite. “The Munich and Carolina Rye malt in our Red Rye DIPA. The spicy rye characteristics pair really well with English crystal malt and citrusy hop bitterness, and you can really get that tingling, slightly cooling mouthfeel that you’d get from a rye whiskey.” 

Seashore Black Rye

This rye malt (featured in the photo above) is produced using another heirloom variety native to Edisto Island, South Carolina. 

This rye can be traced back to the original landrace varieties and is a testament to why we work with these classic grains. Full of flavor and finesse, the Seashore Black Rye moves away from the Abruzzi’s bitter bite and instead brings notes of chicory and coffee flanked by a sweet marshmallow-like body expression with a little touch of dried dates at the finish. 

At Yazoo Brewing, Head Brewer Quinn Meneely and the team recently collaborated with Leinenkugels on a rye lager recipe. “Man, this one might be my favorite collaborations yet for this year,” he says. “It’s a 5%, 20 IBU lager. 11.5% Seashore Black Rye. 100% Riverbend Malt. Super aromatic, with white grape notes and rose, maybe? This is not your standard rye— it’s much more herbal and aromatic. Be damned boring old black pepper!”


The FL 401 Variety rye is a descendant of the Seashore Black Rye, but as the name suggests, grown in Florida!

When compared to our Carolina Rye, made with Wrens Abruzzi, Flo-Rye-Da is less spicy. Think Melba toast and black tea. It’s a versatile malt style that plays well across recipes, including Baltic Porter, Barleywine, and even Pumpkin Ale. (Back in 2021, Crooked Can used it to make the Flo-Rye-Da Pumpkin Ale with 100 pounds of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg in the mash.)

Sideward Brewing has used Flo-Rye-Da in several beers, most notably the Cowboy Crusher. “The rye malt provides a nice spice balance to this Vienna lager leaning beer. Big notes of freshly baked whole grain bread, spice and caramel. While full bodied and complex the beer still remains easily crushable in these cool Florida winter days,” says Co-Founder and Head Brewer Garrett Ward. “Florida doesn’t provide much outside of fruit for raw materials so when we heard about this Florida grown rye we jumped at the chance to brew with it. Local is always on our mind especially now more than ever. Not only do we get a chance to engage with our customers over the story behind the beer but were helping lower our carbon footprint and avoiding all these supply chain issues. We are also very Florida proud so any time we get to scream Florida from the roof tops we will take it!”