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Locally sourced barley

Crisp cuts lorry journeys with £2m packaging plant

Colin Johnston, Scottish Craft Sales Manager, Crisp Malt; Ed Evans, Head Brewer, Cold Town Brewery; John Hutcheson, Leckerstone Farm

Crisp Malt will reduce lorry journeys by 35,000 miles after investing in a new packaging line that will bring barley deliveries closer to Scotland’s brewers.

The company currently produces 28,000 tonnes of malt for brewers and distillers across Scotland. The new £2m packaging facility has four 60-tonne silos capable of packaging up to 7,000 tonnes a year.

It means that HGV miles will be reduced by up to 35,000 miles a year based on the 800-mile round trip from Alloa to the company’s HQ in Norfolk where malt has previously been packaged and driven to Scotland.

Crisp’s investment in infrastructure in Scotland, which comes as the company celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, supports two key issues around sustainability and supply chain identified in the recent Scotland Food & Drink Partnership strategic report on the brewing sector (Brewing Up A Storm, December 2018).

The report set a goal for the Scottish brewing sector to reduce its environmental footprint, and also highlighted a lack of local product in the supply chain.

Despite significant amounts of barley being grown and malted in Scotland, none of the main maltsters have bagged their products in the country. Truckloads of grain have been sent southwards for bagging, only to be returned back over the border, for Scottish brewers.

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As well as supplying the Scottish brewing industry, the new facility will see Crisp expand its export activities to support the growing craft beer movement worldwide, with Scottish malt being distributed to markets such as the US, Japan and Scandinavia.

Hilary Jones, chair of Scotland Food & Drink’s Brewing Industry Leadership Group, said: “We really welcome this response to one of our recommendations for unblocking barriers to growth for brewers in Scotland.

“The craft sector in particular has been crying out for Scottish-sourced small batches of malt, in bags rather than through bulk delivery. This is great news.”

The new facility furthers Crisp’s local sourcing policy and its commitment to supporting Scottish farming. Around 90% of the barley for its Alloa maltings is sourced from Scottish farms within a 50-mile radius of the site.

Colin Johnston, Craft Brewing & Distilling Sales Manager at Crisp, said: “I’m exceptionally proud that we are able to support Scottish farmers in this way by maintaining the provenance of their crop right through to a pint produced in a craft brewery in Scotland.

“Not only this, but by packaging it in Scotland we are cutting a substantial number of road miles and subsequently reducing our carbon impact.”

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John Hutcheson, who grows barley less than 20 miles from the site at Leckerstone Farm, Dunfermline, “It’s good to know that our barley stays in Scotland.

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. 

Ed Evans, head brewer at Cold Town Beer, 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.”

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