While much virtual ink has been spilled on how the craft industry has impacted the hops market (and spawned a culture of entrepreneurial hops growers), another brewing bedrock — malts — hasn’t seen as much excitement. As Craft Brewing Business (CBB) readies its big feature story on how the malt market has evolved over the years and tips for brewers seeking malt contracts, Rahr Malting Co. is staying head of the craft beer curve by positioning itself to serve the small brewer.
The Minneapolis-based Star Tribune reported that while Rahr’s biggest customers are still Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, it’s own subsidiary — BSG — is on the rise.
From the Star Tribune:
“BSG has offered us a vehicle to grow,” said Rahr Corp. CEO Gary Lee. BSG’s sales now make up roughly a third of Rahr Malting Co.’s North American revenue. And it sports nice profit margins. “With 50-pound bags [of malt] vs. railcars, your margins start to get better,” Lee said.
While Lee played coy on sales numbers, the Star Tribune quoted Lee saying that sales were in the “several-hundred-million-dollar range.” As Big Beer continues to stagnate and craft beer continues to boom, Rahr’s strategy to serve the small brewer is evident through BSG’s re-branding earlier this year. As a 166-year-old company, Rahr knows a thing or two about survival, even in a quickly changing industry like beer.
Stay tuned to CBB for our upcoming malt-focused feature story. Until then, be sure to read our feature detailing BSG’s re-branding.