Brewers Supply Group (BSG) just announced a partnership with Leopold Bros. to distribute a new line of small-batch, handmade malts. The first shipments of Leopold Bros. malts will be available in spring 2020, including base malts for craft brewers, as well as a distiller’s malt and a whiskey malt for producers of craft spirits.
Leopold Bros. is a family-owned floor maltings operation and distillery located in Denver. Since brothers Scott and Todd Leopold first opened their doors in 1999, they have created everything from classic unfiltered lagers to a number of spirits, including a wide array of whiskey styles.
“We don’t just malt. We mash for our own line of James Beard Award nominated spirits, so we’re operating on a different level than other maltsters. If our maltings aren’t top-notch, we’re going to be the first to feel it.” says Todd Leopold, who collected his malting and brewing diploma from Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology in 1996. He later studied lager beer production at the Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany, and floor maltings at the Springbank distillery in Campbeltown, Scotland.
To meet the family’s high-caliber standards, a modern-era conical steep casts over 20 metric tons onto traditional germination floors. At a cool 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the green malt is turned and raked by hand for days on end until germination has concluded. Drying in a Doig-inspired-style kiln follows, with maltings fresh from the kiln transferred to bagging within an hour of final curing.
In-house floor maltings began initially to address the brothers’ own needs for their line of spirits which include vodka, gins, whiskies, liqueurs and more. The distillery sits adjacent to the malthouse where it is home to over a dozen open-air wooden fermentation tanks and several stills in a range of styles. Chief among these stills is their Kentucky-made Three Chamber whiskey still, an amalgamation of detailed engineering and industrial art. Check them out over here.