Valley Malt, the only malt house in the Eastern United States, recently closed a loan with PVGrows, in conjunction with Common Capital, Inc., that will allow them to substantially upgrade the equipment used to create malt and quadruple their production. The funds will combine with a Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources grant to install a fuel-efficient heating system for the malting vessels.
Valley Malt is run by a husband and wife team with the goal of making locally produced beer possible and “bringing the malt house back to New England.” Being the only malt house in the Eastern United States, Valley Malt represents the missing link between locally grown grains and locally brewed beer in New England. They have effectively brought grain farmers, “maltsters”, and brewers in New England together in collaborative partnerships and are working to create a truly local infrastructure for beer production in New England.
All of the grain used by Valley Malt is grown in New England or New York, some of it on their own land. In addition to providing malt to local breweries (including Cambridge Brewing Co., Ryan & Wood Distilleries in Gloucester, Throwback Brewery in North Hampton in New Hampshire, Wormtown Brewery in Worcester, and Ispwich Brewery in Ispwich) Valley Malt offers a CSA program called “Malt of the Month Club.” This CSA program allows Valley Malt to compensate local grain farmers up front for their products and offers members, which include breweries and home brewers, the opportunity to pay in advance for a season’s worth of base and specialty malts.
Through a vision of rebuilding the infrastructure for local grain in New England, Valley Malt has acted as a pioneer in the local food movement and forged new partnerships and collaborations between growers, producers, and consumers of beer in New England.
“Common Capital has assisted us in the very early stages of our business and provided seed capital to help us get started. We are now very pleased that PVGrows provides a local resource for additional capital to enable us to take our business to the next level.” remarked, Andrea Stanley of Valley Malt.
Valley Malt will be one of seven local food enterprises featured at the PVGrows Spring Forum, April 11, at Smith College Conference Center. The PVGrows Loan Fund is a Pioneer-Valley based loan fund that offers loans to businesses that enhance our local agricultural and food systems. Loans are available for a wide variety of local farm and food system-related businesses with a particular emphasis on projects that fill gaps in the infrastructure of our local food system or that expand the market for Pioneer Valley agricultural products.
Common Capital (formerly Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund) is a resource of capital and advisory services for businesses and community projects that directly contribute to the economic strength and viability of the western Massachusetts region.
By Common Capital & Emily Fuller