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Alberta’s craft beer supply chain: The maltsters who set the standards (Part 3)

Reference: FCC

COVID-19 took a toll on almost every Alberta manufacturing sector last year. This 4-part series describes the economics behind one of Alberta’s many barley-to-beer supply chains. We explore how craft beer’s unique ties to its consumers were able to shield it from some of the damage wrought by COVID – and how far the pandemic’s impacts reached.

Post 1 describes the shift in the supply chain that put consumers in the driver’s seat of craft beer.
Post 2 explains how a demand-driven supply chain was uniquely situated to withstand some of the effects of COVID.

In Post 3, we explore the role of the maltster as the indispensable conduit between craft brewer and barley producer.

Post 4 illustrates how much influence COVID had – and didn’t have – at the farm of a barley producer with close ties to an Alberta maltster.

Kevin Sich has been a professional grain buyer for 30 years. But the events of 2020 were unlike anything he’s seen. A perfect storm of chaos created by COVID-19 and exacerbated by many other factors.
Sich works at Rahr Malting in Alix, Alberta, in the heart of Canada’s renowned malt barley industry. As the Supply Chain Director, he works directly with barley growers to ensure Rahr will receive the malt-quality barley they need throughout the year... Read More