Colorado-based craft malthouse Root Shoot Malting has been making continuous investments in its facilities and farming practices to meet the increasing demand for consistent, high-quality malt. And these investments are bearing
Led by the 5th generation family behind Colorado’s Olander Farms, Root Shoot has invested in state-of-the-art malting drums from Germany, expanding their drum capacity annually for the past 3 years, completed multiple renovations of the malthouse site and facility, and increased staff.
Year-over-year, Root Shoot has increased production capacity by 33% following an investment in 2022, expanded its portfolio of award-winning craft malt, and experimented with sustainable grains that protect the health of the environment and the supply chain.
In 2023, the malthouse saw a nearly 300% increase in sales of Distillers Malt, an enzymatic malt made from spring two-row Genie barley variety best used for distilling.
“With diastatic power and low kiln temperatures, Distillers Malt is precisely what our partners need to produce high-quality spirits, and as an added bonus, we are helping them incorporate sustainable and traceable ingredients into their recipes,” says Farmer and Founder of Root Shoot Malting Todd Olander.
Root Shoot Malting was also honored for the 5th consecutive year at the 2023 Malt Cup in March, winning gold in the Pilsner, Light Munich, and Vienna categories, silver for Pale Malt, and Best in Show with their Pilsner malt. Root Shoot Malting is the only craft malthouse to win an award all five years of the competition’s existence and the only malthouse to medal in every category in a single year.
Root Shoot’s flagship “Best in Show” Pilsner Malt has been a sales leader for the malthouse this year, and Vienna Malt has grown by more than 10% year-over-year.
“Pilsner Malt reached 25% of our total sales this year,” says Olander. “The craft lager trends are significantly impacting the supply chain and the types of malt we produce. We’re excited to see even more lagers hitting shelves this summer, especially as a category that uniquely showcases the quality of ingredients.”
The malthouse works consistently to transition its farm fields from traditional farming practices to regenerative ones, implementing cover crop rotations, intentional grazing practices, reduced tillage practices, and implementing drought-friendly irrigation strategies.
Looking ahead | The craft malthouse will continue to invest in regenerative farming practices and sustainability efforts, including experimenting with new types of grain. Olander Farms is planting three specific varieties this year – Thunder, Lightning, and Kernza. These grains will improve soil biology, reduce the need for tilling and replanting, promote carbon sequestration and reduce carbon released into the air.
“Great malt starts with great grain, and we continue to invest in the sustainable production of both. Beyond providing breweries and distilleries the ability to procure local, consistent, and high-quality craft products, we seek to create meaningful, collaborative relationships with our partners,” says Olander.