Start-Up Focuses on Farm-to-Beer Plan

Associated Press writer Scott Gross reported yesterday that, “Delaware farmers might soon be able to wet their beaks in the nation’s booming craft beer industry.

“At least that’s the concept behind Proximity Malt.

“The Milwaukee-based startup plans to open a processing plant near Laurel by mid-2017 where locally grown barley can be converted into malt specifically for use by craft brewers and other malt users in the Mid-Atlantic region.”

The AP article stated that, “Craft beer has become a $20 billion industry in the United States, thanks largely to the unique flavors and adventurous spirit that separate independent breweries from the multinational corporations that design their products to appeal to the widest audience possible.

“Yet many craft breweries still use the same raw ingredients as their global competitors. And most of those commodities are grown thousands of miles away.

Proximity Malt hopes to change that paradigm by supplying craft brewers with the most local ingredients possible.”

Mr. Gross added that, “Proximity Malt was launched in early 2015 by a pair of former executives from Malteurop, one of the largest malting operations in the world. Malteurop is now suing Proximity Malt, claiming its former employees started their new business on company time.”

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