Craft Malt opens in Butte, marking a Montana brewing first

By Missoula Current

Montana Craft Malt opened its new 10,000-ton malting facility in Butte on Thursday, capping a milestone in the $15 million project.

The facility will cater to Montana’s craft brew industry and serve as the state’s only malting product made exclusively from Montana-grown barley, according to the state.

“Montana Craft Malt will make it easier for Big Sky brewers to access Montana-grown barley, and market their craft brews as truly Made in Montana,” said Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote.

Haxby-Cote said Montana’s craft beer industry is quickly growing and becoming known around the world as a destination for beer enthusiasts. It’s also growing as employer, with 700 people now working for the state’s 71 breweries.

According to the Montana Brewers Association, the state’s craft beer industry has an economic impact of more than $100 million each year. Brewers also use 7 million pounds of malted grain each year, half of which is grown in Montana.

“With the addition of Montana Craft Malt, craft brewers will be more likely to use locally-grown grains, which are among the best in the world,” said Agriculture Director Ben Thomas. “Not only is this a good thing for our brewing industry, but for the farmers and ranchers who fuel it.”