I think most brewers would agree, a beer’s life begins the moment the yeast are finished with fermentation.
[In the September 2011 issue of BYO, we published a story on new malts. As part of that story (on page 39), I wrote a sidebar on barley farming and malt prices. This is an extended version of that sidebar. ]
If you’ve only noticed one thing about malt in the past few years, the thing you’ve likely noticed is that it is a lot more expensive than it used to be. To find out the the reason for this, plus ask for an outlook on malting for the near future, I talked to Dave Kuske, Director of Malting Operations at Briess Malt and Ingredients.
Kuske explained that barley prices were very volatile right now as a number of factors were contributing to a steady drop in worldwide barley production. But, it wasn’t always that way.
The Good Old Days...
We’ve been spending a lot of time lately scrubbing some used kegs we bought.
It all seems so simple on paper. You brew the beer, stick it in some packaging, then sell it to the thirsty hoards. How hard could it be? It isn’t rocket science, right?
As soon as you start producing beer (and even before), you will get a flood of requests to provide beer for festivals.