Minnesota grows a lot of barley, and for that we are thankful. While North Dakota, Idaho and Montana are by far the biggest barley makers in America, Minnesota is producing more and more every year. In 2015, the Northwest District produced 7.15 million bushels of Minnesota’s barley crop, accounting for 77 percent of the state’s total production with an average yield of 78.7 bushels, according to estimates released by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. The highest yields were recorded in Norman and Polk counties at 83.6 and 82.1 bushels respectively.
Rahr Corp. is Minnesota’s premier malt maker and ingredients supplier. Brewers Supply Group (BSG) is owned by Rahr Corp. and is comprised of four divisions: BSG CraftBrewing, BSG HandCraft, BSG Distilling and BSG Wine. BSG has supplied select ingredients at competitive prices to craft brewers, winemakers, craft distillers and home fermentation retailers for the past 10 years. Last week, BSG announced it just opened a new distribution center as part of a large expansion project undertaken by Rahr Corp., and it also includes a new malthouse as well as a 20,000-square-foot technical center housing a pilot brewery, micro-malting facility and expanded malt quality control lab.
The new distribution center in Shakopee is conveniently located across the street from the Rahr Malting Co. campus at 715 West First Ave. It will primarily be used for warehousing and order fulfillment, featuring increased cold storage for hops and other perishable ingredients, as well as improved repackaging and shipping capacity. About 6,000 square feet is dedicated to packaging malt, ranging from bulk loads down to smaller sizes for craft brewers, craft distillers and homebrewers. The new facility will replace the former warehouse in Kasota, Minn., and will serve BSG’s brewery customers across the United States.
The brand-new malt packaging operation boasts state-of-the-art, custom-designed conveyance and bagging systems. A top-of-the-line PTK bagger can fill 20 50-pound bags per minute, while multiple control points allow for weight detection and metal detection on each bag. A robotic palletizer ensures uniform pallets for less risk of damage in shipping and easier storage and stacking by the customer.