Besides leaving behind some tasty barley stubble for the turkey vultures (aka turkey buzzards), fall harvest leads to our popular Grower Appreciation Dinner. It’s our way of personally thanking our barley growers for their passion, dedication and hard work to produce high quality malting barley for Briess.

In early November I headed to one of my favorite places in the United States—the Bighorn Basin barley growing region in Northwestern Wyoming and Southern Montana. That’s where the bulk of our barley is grown. And it’s where, every fall after harvest, we host our annual Briess Grower Appreciation Dinner. (Check out pictures below!)

It takes hundreds of growers throughout the region to produce barley for Briess. Not only are these multi-generational family farmers good at what they do, they’re also some of the nicest people you’ll meet anywhere. I love this event and, this year, we were thrilled when more than 300 attended our post-harvest dinner. And, special thanks to John Mallet of Bell’s Brewery for taking time to be our guest speaker!

At Briess, after the barley is harvested is also when the new crop barley begins its journey from our Ralston elevator to our barley and malting operation in Manitowoc. While in Wyoming, I was fortunate enough to be at our elevator when 20 railcars were being filled for their cross-country tip to Wisconsin. Here’s a short video of it.

Hats off to our growers, and to all the craft brewers who turn Briess malt into a staggering spectrum of delightful craft beers!

The railcar in the video was lined up with about 20 other railcars, all being filled with Briess barley which will be malted in one of three Briess malthouses in Wisconsin.
Scroll down for a few shots from our annual Grower Appreciation Dinner.
Grower Brenton Paxton (left) and Wyoming Shoshone Irrigation Project Manager (and former Briess grower) Trent Reed. Trent offers his services as irrigation project tour guide when customers visit our Wyoming barley operation. Brent is on the Briess Grower Advisory Committee.
Members of the Northwest College Block and Bridle Club helped put on the event. Those buckets are filled with craft beer!
Debbie Hufford (left) is with the Wyoming Seed Certification Service, and Judy Bullinger is our Office Manager at the Ralston Elevator.
Meet growers Brent Rageth (left) and Mike and Paula Riley. Brent is on the Briess Grower Advisory Committee.
Is that Green Bay Packers gear? Yes it is! Gary and Sue Broyles operate a ranch in Montana. He’s a dedicated Briess grower and avid Packers fan. Sue takes beautiful pictures, and submits images every year for our Wyoming flip wall calendar. Here, he’s visiting with Sheryl and Kelly Brester. Kelly is a former member of the Briess Grower Advisory Committee, and we thank him for his years of support!
Jessica Kukowski with her little future grower.
Briess growers Ray Gimmeson and Mel Richard operate a farm not far from our elevator.
Briess growers (l-r) Regan Smith, Dale “Combine Captain” Clifton and Warren Smith.
We smelled these pork loins smoking all day when we were setting up the dinner venue, and yes – they tasted as great as they smelled and looked! Duane Dunn of Dunn Been Smoked in Powell catered the event.