Malt+Brew Workshop 2015 Group Picture, with Briess Staff and 40+ Brewers from across the country. Dinner was held on the rooftop of the Manitowoc Maritime Museum, overlooking the Manitowoc Rive and the Briess Grain Operations.

Earlier this month, Briess was host to more than 40 brewers from 21 Breweries from across the country to attend a two-day Malt+Brew Workshop. Brewers came from as far West as Kailua-Kona, Hawaii from Kona Brewing Company and as far East as Frederick, Maryland  from Flying Dog Brewery, and everywhere in between.

Welcome to the 2015 Briess Malt + Brew Workshop
40+ Brewers from 21 Breweries across the country, and the Brewers Association and the North American Breweries Association attended the 2015 Breiss Malt+Brew Workshop.

The two-day and a half-day event kicked off with Wisconsin hospitality at Ethel’s Pub & Grill with a Brats, Burgers & Beer Social.

Wisconsin hospitality was shown by Ethel’s Pub & Grill (Home of the “Ethel Burger”) with Brats, Burgers, and Beer.

But this event was more than burgers and beer (though we had our fair share of beer). The first full day of activities started bright and early with several educational presentations that focused on Malt, Barley, and Beer. Special guest speaker Joseph D. Hertrich, Retired Group Director, Brewing Raw Materials Anheuser-Busch, Inc., gave a presentation on “Malting Barley: Production and Acquisition”. Briess Chilton Malthouse Plant Manager,  Vince Coonce, gave an in-depth presentation on “The Art of Malting and Handcrafting Specialty Malts.”  With the group now well versed in the malting process, it was time to dive in and tour the Briess Chilton Malthouse.

The brewers split up into four groups to tour the Briess Chilton Malthouse, exploring the malting process from steeping, germination, kilning/roasting, and the lab.
Ron Mihalko, Briess Plant Manager at the Waterloo Malthouse, explains the germination compartment to brewers.
Hollie and John from Highland Brewing having fun on the Malthouse Tours.

The Chilton Malthouse is one of three of Briess’ malting facilities, and it is the smallest of the three with a o1.1 million bushel capacity (36 million lbs). But one Malthouse tour is not enough to get the full picture of the diversity, scale, and size of Briess’ malting capabilities. So we boarded the bus and headed to Manitowoc, WI to tour the recently acquired, 4.3 million bushel storage capacity (4x the size of the Chilton Malthouse, WOW!) grain handling operation.

And it was on the bus and off to Manitowoc.
The Briess Staff was instrumental in the organization and coordination of this year’s event.
The moment the brewers got off the bus in Manitowoc, it was time to explore the massive Manitowoc Facilities.

The Briess Manitowoc Grain Handling Operations is quite a facility to take in and explore. It encompasses 179 bins, a 12 story cleaning and grading elevator, 50-car rail spot, and has lakefront access to Lake Michigan port and marine tower that offers the capability to unload grain from bulk carrier ships. The Manitwoc Malthouse 6 is a large-scale base malt malthouse house with 24 steep tanks, four germination compartments, and one kiln. It has batch capabilities of 432,000 lbs of raw barley during steeping and 345,600 lbs capacity of finished malt.

This is what’s known as the Gallery floor, where barley is distributed into storage bins.
Brewers are able to experience firsthand the difference in size and scale of steeping between the Briess Chilton Malthouse and Briess Manitowoc Operation.
On the Cleaner Floor of the Briess Manitowoc Elevator, Brewers can see the difference between A, B, C, and D grades of raw barley and dockage.

After the long day of tours, it was time to kick back, relax, and have some fun and beer. Dinner was held on the balcony of the Manitowoc Maritime Museum, overlooking Lake Michigan and the Manitowoc River, with a perfect view of the Briess Grain Operations Facility. The food from the Courthouse Pub was fabulous and it was a perfect time to get to know the brewers. Briess Division Managers, Technical Service Team Members, Marketing Team Members, and Customer Service all joined the dinner to mingle with brewers and have quality one-on-one time.

It was a perfect evening with a great view, overlooking the Manitowoc River and the Briess Manitowoc Grain Handling Operation.
(L to R) Penny Pickart (Briess Division Manager-Brew Central), Ron Mihalko (Briess Plant Manager, Waterloo Malthouse), Michael Scanzello (Briess Distilling Product Line Manager).


But the fun didn’t end at dinner, because what kind of workshop would it be without more beer and bowling? So it was back to Chilton to Pla-Mor Lanes. And that was only Day One!

John Gautraud, Education Ambassador of Founders Brewing Co. (Left) Dave Engbers, Co-Founder & President of Founders Brewing Co. (Right) getting ready for bowling.
Having fun bowling at Pla-Mor Lanes.