This weekend our friends at Rahr their new malt house and other new spaces to tons of neighbors and brewery folks this past weekend on Saturday. As some of you know, I had the pleasure of being on-site as the new malthouse, lab/pilot brewery and distribution center were being completed. It was a massive undertaking that was completed ahead of schedule. Not bad!
According to president and CEO Willie Rahr, “This project is focused on taking our quality, capabilities and service to an even higher level. We’re adding 28 full-time employees at our home base in Shakopee to make this growth possible and meet the needs of a thriving brewing and beverage industry.”
For any of you unfamiliar with the Shakopee company, Rahr is a family-owned company that manufactures malt and distributes malt and other ingredients to brewers, distillers and other beverage-makers worldwide, including almost all (90%) of Minnesota’s breweries from August Schell to Steel Toe. Nearly 1/4 of American-brewed beers contain Rahr malt. That’s a lot of 2-row, 6-row, pilsner and wheat malt!
The brand-new “malthouse 6” ads over 100,000 square feet of production space, making Rahr’s headquarters the largest single-site malting facility in the world. The expansion increases the annual malting capacity from 390,000 to 460,000 metric tons – enough to brew about 6 billion bottles of craft beer.
The expansion includes a 20,000-square-foot research brewery and technical center that enable Rahr to test the performance of its products in an actual brewery environment, as well as an 80,000-square-foot distribution and packaging facility. This facility is used primarily for warehousing and bagging by Brewers Supply Group, a Rahr Corporation subsidiary that supplies premium ingredients to brewers, winemakers, distillers, and home fermentation retailers.
Matt Brynildson from Firestone Walker had this to share: “Firestone Walker Brewing Company has been partnered with Rahr Malting since 2001. We have enjoyed a long and productive relationship through many years of growth and an ever-evolving beer landscape. Consistent, clean and good flavored malt is at the core of all good beer and Rahr has delivered world-class malt to us year in and year out. The talented and dedicated Rahr team has playing a key role in the success of our brewery.”