Coopers Brewery’s malting plant named best in the world

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.

Australian brewer appointed Institute of Brewing and Distilling president

Managing director and head brewer of Coopers Brewery Dr Tim Cooper has been appointed president of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) for a one-year term.

The South Australian brewer has served as deputy president since 2016. 

The IBD is based in the United Kingdom and has more than 5000 members across 102 countries.

The organisation oversees training across all levels of the brewing, distilling and cider industries, from non-production staff through to master brewers and master distillers.

READ: Coopers Pale Ale getting cans

Members include the heads of some of the world’s major brewing and distilling companies.

Cooper said the world’s brewing and distilling industry is undergoing an enormous surge in interest and growth with the emergence of the craft brewing sector.

“Craft breweries and distillers are opening across the world on a daily basis and this has led to the situation where demand for qualified brewers and brewery workers has reached unprecedented levels.

“The IBD is about improving the education and understanding of everyone involved in or entering the industry and helping to underpin the quality of the beers being developed,” said Cooper.

Based in the South Australian capital Adelaide, Coopers has been making traditional bottle fermented ales since 1862.

The family-owned brewery is considered by many to be the grandfather of craft brewing in Australia.

Cooper is the first Australian to lead the organisation since Bill Taylor (Lion, 2004-05) and Adrian Gardner (CUB, 2001-02) served as presidents of the Institute and Guild of Brewing, an earlier iteration of the IBD.

Brewers Association of Australia chief executive officer Brett Heffernan said Cooper’s appointment recognised his passionate commitment to industry excellence and his expertise as a master brewer.

“Tim is a living legend, respected by all across the entire alcohol industry and he brings with him a wealth of experience to the leadership of IBD along with a dedication to excellence that will serve the industry well into the future,” said Heffernan.

“It also underlines Australia’s position as a world brewing leader,” he said. 

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