The Philadelphia Grain and Malt Symposium, a conference about the critically important ingredient in beer, bread and whiskey, returns to Philadelphia on March 1 and 2, 2019. Farmers, millers, maltsters, brewers, distillers, bakers, chefs, restaurateurs and consumers are all invited to join this unique event for networking and educational and tasting sessions. The goal of the Philadelphia Grain and Malt Symposium is to strengthen the small grains value chain in the Philadelphia region.
“Developing a strong value chain for grain and malt is really important, but processing, the middle of the value chain, is behind in a lot of ways,” said Mark Brault, founder of the symposium and owner of Deer Creek Malthouse, the first maltster to operate in Pennsylvania since Prohibition.
“Farmers have been growing grain in this region for a long time, and there are lots of brewers, bakers and distillers here using malt, but it mostly comes from outside the region,” Brault said. “Now, regional millers and maltsters are trying to fill the gap.”
The symposium, now in its third year at University of the Sciences, originally started in 2012 as an informal group of stakeholders meeting over beers to talk shop. Now, this one-of-a-kind event has grown to include technical and educational presentations and the opportunity to taste local artisan products made using local malt and grain.
The 2019 Grain & Malt Symposium begins with a networking event on Friday March 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at New Liberty Distillery in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood. Guests will mingle over cocktails, snacks and on distillery tours while meeting and connecting with fellow stakeholders.
To kick off the day on Saturday, March 2, Hannah Smith-Brubaker, former Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and current executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, will deliver a keynote address titled “Farming for Our Future.”
Sessions and breakout workshops on March 2 will include topics such as:
- “Safety and suitability considerations for malting grains based on end use” with Mike Scanzello, Director of Brewing and Distilling, Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.
- “Crop management best practices for malting barley in Pennsylvania” with Andrew Frankenfield, Extension Educator Agronomy, Penn State University
- “Sunday Love Grisette, local malt, and the evolution of a brewery” with Kevin Walter, Owner, Love City Brewing Co.
- “Mid-Atlantic small grains market development” with Scott Raubenstine, V.P. Agricultural Services, Perdue AgriBusiness
- “How PA Preferred can benefit your business” with Laura England, Director, Bureau of Market Development, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Market Development
- And many more!
There will also be a tasty lunch made with local grain and malt, and, later in the afternoon, the Local Product Showcase, where attendees will enjoy a selection of food and beverages, also made with Philly region grain and malt.
Tickets range from $25 to $95 per person, depending on the attendee’s role in the value chain, and what portion of the symposium you wish to attend. Prices go up at the door, so organizers recommend purchasing in advance. To help offset the tough 2018 growing season, the 2019 symposium is offering discounted tickets at just $25 to farmers.
For more info and to register for the event, explore The Philadelphia Grain and Malty Symposium website.
- Photos: Deer Creek Malthouse