In a period of tightening supply of both hops and malt, Cargill announced that they will reopen its malting facility in Sheboygan, Wis., three years after it closed.
The facility will focus on producing limited quantities of specialty malt products for the craft brewing industry.
“That’s great news,” said Russell Klisch, president of Lakefront Brewery Inc., a craft brewer based in Milwaukee. Klisch said the prices of malt and hops – both key ingredients in beer – are increasing.
The addition of a new malting facility in Wisconsin will help reduce shipping costs for the state’s brewers, Klisch said.
However it won’t alleviate higher costs brewers across the nation are facing. Many will pay 30% to 100% more for barley malt in 2008 than they did in 2007, and similar increases hop prices are common.
Cargill has used the site as a distribution warehouse since it quit malting there in 2004. The plant’s reopening will create 11 jobs.