For anyone who’s been saying attention to the role of craft beer over the past decade or more, you’ve seen the impact of these small breweries they’ve grown. They’ve become economic drivers and political forces. They’ve broadened the palates of the populace and taken it’s roar seat at the broader culinary table. And they’ve turned our attention to the ingredients of craft beer — hops, grains, yeast, even water, with a sense of appreciation for their qualities and origins.
Troubadour is attempting to create a niche for craft malts, malts with character, processes that add variability and uniqueness, and supporting farmers in a way that spin up that virtuous cycle, which is critical to longevity and viability for a niche business.
And it’s starting to work. Brewers are highlighting and brewing toward his malt characters. They’re telling customers about the malt in their beer with the same intrigue they once shared over hops. And some larger malsters are making their way in to the market to produce more characterful base malts.
Grain is about to have an ah-ha moment. Or at least a little tilt of the head that indicates the market is curious. We’ll see.