As a result of decreased demand, maltsters in Montana are feeling the hit. The uncertainty of the alcohol industry at present has resulted in breweries across the US scaling back on production due to their inability to host guests on-premise.
This has made for hard times on the material-production end of the brewing world, where Montana malt companies have ample product and nobody to sell it to.
Montana ranked first in the nation for planted barley acres according to the US Department of Agriculture. The pandemic has caused a massive slowing of beer production in the nation, leaving companies like Malteurop, with production operations in Great Falls, Montana, with excess product.
This caused them to halt all malt barley deliveries for 30 days to their malting facility in order to deplete their stores.
The easiest solution to this issue is to find new places to offload grains, such as Mexico and China. Corona, for instance, was forced to shut down by the Mexican government early on during the crisis, rendering that particular avenue obsolete. The other alternative is to begin exporting American malts to China, but that brings a host of it’s own problems.
For such a thing to happen, there would need to be a certified malting facility that will pass inspections by both governments, putting a massive delay on the movement of the already finished grains.
Barring a total dissipation of this crisis, allowing people to flood bars and breweries again, tough times lie ahead for American malt producers.