Maltwerks Malt House Tour
The Duluth Experience Visits Maltwerks
We took a road trip to explore Maltwerks, a small artisan-malting facility located in Detroit Lakes, MN. Our malt house tour started off with a warm welcome from the Maltwerks team, including Maltwerks’ president Randy Peterson, plant manager Cody Jyrkas, and lead maltster Kaj Peterson. After a lot of hand shaking and beard jokes, we walked into a small changing area where we donned head and beard nets before entering the malt house.
Kaj walked us through Maltwerk’s workflow starting with a discussion of barley sourcing, the importance of origin preservation, and how he and his father decided to create a small-scale malting operation in Detroit Lakes, MN. Then we followed Kaj through the facility and discussed the fine details of grain hydration, steeping, germination and kilning.
A lot of the discussion between Kaj and our crew covered some very specific topics like the nuances of certain malts and how the ingredients could be modified to fit specific characteristics that the brewers were looking for in their brews. We chatted about Maltwerk’s future production and expansion options and then walked up onto the catwalk for a bird’s eye view of the malt house. Kaj ended the tour by showing us the cleaning process for the malt and the packaging station along with the warehouse.
After we finished up with the tour, Randy had the grill going and the Maltwerks team joined us for some burgers and brats. It was a perfect way to end the tour and I have to give Randy some props for being a fantastic host. I’d also like to thank Jen Zimmerman for working with me to coordinate our visit.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience for everyone and we all have a deeper appreciation for the finer details of malting and the level of quality that Maltwerks is brining to the regional beer scene. I anticipate that we’ll hear more about Maltworks in the years to come as they grow their business through quality malting and customer-focused service.