Coopers Brewery’s new malting plant in Adelaide has been named equal best in the world at an international award presentation in Poland overnight.
A jury consisting of members of the global brewing supply chain last night named Coopers and The Swaen in the Netherlands as the Maltsters of the Year 2019 at the World Barley, Malt and Beer Conference held at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw.
The joint winners took the title ahead of other short-listed malting plants in Germany, Vietnam and India.
Coopers opened its 54,000-tonne capacity maltings in November 2017 alongside its Regency Park brewery in the South Australian capital.
Of the almost 50,000-tonnes of malt produced at the site this year, Coopers will use about 16,000 tonnes for its own beer and 21,000 tonnes will be exported to Asia.
Domestic craft brewers and distillers are predicted to use about 5500 tonnes – more than 10 per cent of annual production.
Asian customers include Thai Beverage, which uses Coopers’ pilsner-style malt to brew its Chang beer, Carlsberg in Vietnam and South Korea’s Hite Brewery.
Coopers is the largest Australian-owned brewery and made its first beer in 1862. It sold its previous malting plant to Ausbulk in 2002 to help reduce debt from building its Regency Park brewery.
The prestigious Global Brewing Supply Awards are conducted every two years to recognise the brewing world’s business innovation and technology leaders.
Coopers’ Maltings Manager, Dr Doug Stewart, who accepted the award on Coopers’ behalf, said it was a remarkable result, given that Coopers’ maltings has only been in operation for just over a year.
He said the malting plant was technologically advanced and produced malt of exceptional quality.
“The plant includes some unique in-house designed features which have allowed us to reduce steeping times, water usage and kiln-gas during the malting process,” Dr Stewart said.
“We also are flexible enough to be able to produce special single origin malts for the craft beer and distilling sectors. These have included malt from Westminster barley grown on Kangaroo Island, Schooner barley from the Murray Mallee and Commander barley from the Barossa Valley.
“This unique range of malts forms part of the attractiveness of our offering to the craft brewing sector.”
Leading Swiss manufacturer Buhler supplied the malting equipment for the $A65 million project with local company Ahrens responsible for the construction.
Dr Stewart said Coopers’ commitment to quality had extended to the aesthetics of the plant, distinguishing it from the normal “agricultural” look of most maltings around the world.
“Being named joint Maltster of the Year ahead of major international operators in only our second year of operation underlines our commitment to innovation and quality,” he said.
The Swaen was founded in 1906 and now exports malt across the world.