Root Shoot Malting is a 5th generation family farm and craft malthouse that supplies the Rocky Mountain region with craft malt and grains. The award-winning Colorado craft malthouse had a milestone year in 2023, earning awards for its high-quality malt, and celebrating the release of its first whiskey under the newly launched Root Shoot Spirits last year.
Root Shoot’s Root Shoot American Single Malt Whiskey (50% ABV), which debuted in August 2023, also earned a Gold Medal at the prestigious New York World Wine & Spirits Competition last year. Root Shoot Whiskey incorporates 100% Colorado-grown and malted grain, and only travels about 30 miles from field to bottle, representing a uniquely hyper-local and sustainable supply chain journey.
“After five years in the making, we’re so proud of the response we received from the launch of Root Shoot Whiskey this August,” said Root Shoot Farmer and Founder Todd Olander. “Single Malt Whiskey uniquely captures the unique flavor profile of our grain, and we worked with so many great people to bring this Colorado spirit to life. We’re looking forward to more limited releases in 2024 and beyond.”
Founded by the Olander family in 2016, the farm is committed to the regenerative agriculture movement. Root Shoot harvests barley, wheat, rye, and corn to give craft brewers and distillers high-quality taste in every glass. Located on the Olander Farms’ 112-acre farm in Loveland, Colorado, and approximately 1500 leased acres, Root Shoot is working to ensure that farmland remains available to grow grains for the beers and spirits of tomorrow through its conservation easement with Colorado Open Lands.
In 2023, Root Shoot was recognized at the prestigious Craft Maltsters Guild’s Malt Cup, taking home Gold medals for its Pilsen, Light Munich and Vienna malts, a Silver medal for its Pale Malt, and traveling Malt Cup for its “Best in Show” Genie Pilsen malt.
The sustainability-minded maltsters at Root Shoot introduced two new malts to the lineup in 2023, Munich Wheat and Chit Malt. The new Munich Malt was a part of a beer recipe selected as a Colorado Grain Chain microgrant project this year. Brewed by Cortez, Colo.’s WildEdge Brewing Collective, the microgrant supported its October 2023 release of “From The Fields” (5.6% ABV), a Dunkelweizen-inspired beer made with 100% Colorado-sourced ingredients.
Since its inception, Root Shoot has been committed to implementing regenerative farming practices to improve soil biology, reduce the need for tilling and replanting, promote carbon sequestration and reduce carbon released into the air. In 2023, the craft malthouse experimented with three grain varietals, including Kernza and two winter barleys Thunder and Lightning, to combat the challenges of farming while dealing with a changing climate.
Root Shoot also increased its malthouse production capacity by 33% in 2023, continuing its commitment to meet the increasing demand for consistent, high-quality malt. By installing a third malting drum, the maltsters have the ability to malt in multiple drums simultaneously for the first time. The innovative build provides space for research and development, increases efficiency, and provides a more consistent product.
“The expansion of our facility is the culmination of years of thoughtful planning and consideration of how to create the best system for creating remarkable malts, serving our customers and for future growth,” said Olander. “We were able to increase production drastically this year, while staying tenaciously committed to quality. We’re excited to see where the future will take us.”