For much of recent history brewers have relied on imported products to make their beer. Fortunately, like in so many industries, we are now seeing a trend to focus on locally sourced ingredients. New enterprises are developing to help create a supply chain and provide brewers with quality ingredients grown in close proximity to their breweries.
One such company is Shoreline Malting based in Slemon Park. This unique malt house is a partnership between three island entrepreneurs with a shared love of both agriculture and quality beer. Partners Trent Casely, Jansen Clark and John Webster each bring a unique skill set to operation where they have spent the last few years developing the raw material and processes to create a variety of high quality malt products.
Trent Casely oversees the agricultural component of Shoreline Malting. He works diligently to ensure that the grains destined for malting meet rigorous standards for quality in the field. After having spent half a decade developing farming practices and identifying grain varieties that work well for PEI’s climate, the company has seen great success with Newdale Barley and Hard Red Spring Wheat which, along with a few other grain types still in trial phase, will eventually make their way to eager local brewers.
Jansen Clark oversees the malting process in the Slemon Park facility. Having trained as a Maltster at the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Center in Winnipeg, Clark ensures Caseley’s hard work in field creates a superior product for the brewers. The practice of malting involves the steeping of grains in water which kickstarts germination. Once the grain has reached its ideal state, where a rootlet has developed and the grain is plump with starch, it is then drained of water and finished in the kiln. Kilning dries the grains with a steady flow of warm air. Malting grain allows for creation of sufficient starches that are converted into sugars in the brew house. These sugars are then processed by yeast to create alcohol and carbon dioxide, creating beer.
Once Clark’s work is complete and the malted grains are carefully stored away in sacks, John Webster works to get this unique, made-on-PEI product into the hands of brewers. Knowing well that brewers rely on quality and a consistent product to make their beers, Webster works closely with clients to build relationships and ensure Shoreline Malting is providing a quality local product they can depend on.
Shoreline Maltings products continue to pop up in breweries across the region, having already been used by brewers in every Atlantic province. The company is quickly making a name for itself as a high quality, local product and will continue to innovate its offerings to brewers in years to come.