March 1-2, 2019 Highlights


This year’s event was another great success filled with education, networking and food and beverages made with local grain & malt. The weekend kicked off Friday night at New Liberty Distillery with an informal networking soiree for those traveling from out of town. Specialty cocktails flowed and Lost Bread Co. dished out focaccia-style pizza made with local spelt and emmer.

As we we work towards building a stronger Philadelphia region grain & malt value chain for all stakeholders, we were thrilled to have local agricultural icon and Executive Director for Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), Hannah Smith-Brubaker, deliver a passionate and inspiration keynote presentation. Her talk entitled ‘Farming for our Future’ Saturday morning teed off a full day of technical presentations at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia. Participants heard from subject matter experts and leaders across the entire value chain, from farming to brewing, distilling, and baking during the full day symposium.

Retired Group Director for Brewing Raw Materials at Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Joseph Hertrich, shared his perspective on safety and suitability considerations for malting grains based on end use, which was incredibly insightful and applied to both food and beverage producers. Jeff Michaud, James Beard Award Winner, author, international travel guide, and co-owner of Osteria Restaurant also gave an engaging and perceptive talk on ‘Pizza, hydration, flour, and mixing’. Sarah Rocker, PhD., Research Associate a Pennsylvania State University capped off the day of technical presentations by discussing value chain coordination and ‘the power of social connectivity for developing the small grain value chain in the Mid-Atlantic’. Over the past few years Sarah’s efforts have been important as we measure network strength and evaluate improvements to the regional grain & malt value chain.

The program ended with a networking happy hour with local businesses and food and beverage artisans sharing grain and malt-inspired products and inspirations with symposium attendees. A fitting end to a full meeting agenda with stakeholders from across the entire value chain making new connections and reconnecting with old friends and collaborators.

We were grateful for everyone who attended and are in awe of this incredible and diverse community bound by a common thread: Grain & malt. Thank you to everyone involved in the planning and execution of this unique event, especially hosts Growing Roots Partners, USciences Brewing Science Program, and Philly Loves Beer.

A very special thank you to our title sponsors PASA, PA Preferred, PSU Extension, & MockMill.

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Save the date: The 2020 Grain & Malt Symposium will take place the weekend of Feb 29 – Mar 02. Leap year!