The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the richest food-producing valleys in the country and chief among them are Washington’s Skagit and Walla Walla valleys. Head to any farmers market in the area and you’re sure to see produce from these places lining the tables.
Skagit Valley Malting was founded in 2010 and provides a local route to for Northwest brewers by growing malts specifically for beer and spirits. The Burlington-based comopany is now the largest craft malt house in the region. Since then the mini-ecosystem of growers and retailers has thrived.
Hailing from Walla Walla, Mainstem Malts has been supplying breweries around the Northwest since 2014. Mainstem loves supporting local home brewers as well by supplying a handful of local homebrew stores.
We’ve compiled a list of local breweries that use grains from these local maltsters so you can taste the region as well.
Aslan Brewing Co.
Aslan Brewing out of Bellingham, Washington — and, as of yesterday, now with a location in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood — is one of the only breweries in the area that serves 100 percent organic beers. Each and every beer on the menu, whether it be seasonal or staple, has gone through careful consideration when it comes to sourcing sustainably and responsibly. Aslan is a certified B Corp and sources many of its malts just 30 miles south in Skagit Valley including the Pilsner malt which is used for two seasonal weisse beers.
Fremont Brewing Co.
Fremont Brewing has become the third largest brewery in Washington, producing 31,000 barrels in 2018, and all that beer means a whole lot of grain. Fremont takes time and energy to think locally and source sustainably. Although it is a serious operation and cannot be supplied fully by Skagit Valley Malting, Fremont does use specialty malts from the malt house for its Skagit Farmhouse Ale, and most recently, the Black Heron Lounge.
Hopworks Urban Brewery
This Portland gem is a certified B Crop — which means it takes extra care of its employees and sourcing sustainably. Part of that comes from the brewery’s relationship with Mainstem Malts, where Hopworks sources malts as often as possible for as many beers as possible.
Farmstrong Brewing Co.
Established in 2015, Farmstrong Brewing of Mount Vernon, Washington, has survived and thrived on the ingredients of Skagit Valley for its entire production. The impressive thing about this brewery is, as of March, it sources all of its grain from Skagit Valley — so much so they’ve dubbed their production as “estate brewing.” As the name suggests, this brewery is keeping the Skagit farms strong with orders and fueling them with beer after a hard day’s work.
In the heart of Seattle’s Georgetown district is the winner of the 2019 Washington Beer Awards Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year, and devoted brewer of local grains. Lowercase Brewing is sourcing all of the malts for its beers from Skagit Valley. Lowercase is currently producing four ales with Skagit Valley malts including the seasonal Squash Ale made with butternut squash.