In a bid to meet the growing demand for malted barley from the Scottish whisky and brewing industries, a fifth-generation working family farm in Fife has launched a new craft malting business. 

Crafty Maltsters, which operates from A. Milne and Sons Farm on the outskirts of Auchtermuchty, came about after a £500,000 funding package was secured from HSBC UK.

The funding has been used to purchase the equipment needed to produce local craft malt for Scotland’s brewers and distillers.

It has also enabled the family to build a new 3,000 sq. ft. on-site shed for additional grain storage and processing.

Alison Milne, a former commercial director at NFU Scotland, and her husband Daniel took over management of A. Milne & Sons Farm from Daniel’s parents in 2014 and immediately looked for ways to diversify and add value to their existing arable and livestock enterprise.

craft malting business

Alison and her family on the farm. Picture: Granite Creative

Malt is a core ingredient in beer and spirits and Crafty Maltsters hopes to establish a Scottish specialty malt brand that benefits from the boom in craft beers and distilling in Scotland.

Alison Milne, Owner, Crafty Maltsters, said: “After studying the malting supply chain we spotted a gap in the market for small-scale malting providers that can guarantee quality, locally-sourced malt for brewers and distillers across Scotland.

“We want to help put small-scale malting at the forefront of ingredient supply chain and tell the story of Scotland’s grain-to-glass journey, as well as the value that malt brings to beers and spirits. Working with HSBC UK has been of huge benefit to us and we value the bank as a real partner in the business, challenging and working with us to make our business model stronger.”

David Rhind, agriculture relationship director at HSBC UK, said: “We were impressed with Alison’s experience and expertise in the sector and, along with her family, she has clearly spotted an excellent business opportunity. We wish Alison and Crafty Maltsters every success in taking the business forward.”

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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