Fall 2021 Update from Jen O’Brien

by Jen O'Brien
October 28, 2021

rom the desk of Jennifer O’Brien, President & CEO of Montana Craft Malt

January 1st, 2021 seems like such a distant memory.

I remember so clearly the feeling of relief that 2020 was now officially behind us, as well as the sense of promise, hope, and renewal looking forward to what was sure to be a healthier, stronger, more productive year, as well as a seemingly inevitable (albeit gradual) return to normalcy.

Now, as we bring Q3 to a close, say hello to Autumn, and begin the planning process for 2022, I can’t help but look back with a sense of disbelief at how many more challenges we’ve conquered this year; challenges we never could’ve seen coming, and that have impacted us all greatly, regardless of our chosen professions.

Through it all though, and to a much greater extent, I feel a real sense of accomplishment and pride for the strides our team has made in moving the Montana Craft Malt brand forward this year. Many don’t know this, but due to a number of circumstances, we had only been utilizing two of our four germination vessels. Thanks to the diligence and tenacity of our facility and production crew however, that recently changed, and we are now fully operational.
This was possible in large part because we’ve had the great fortune to be fully staffed with a crew of folks focused on a singular goal; to keep moving forward.

One factor that’s already started to impact the craft malt industry is the 2021 global barley crop. Mother Nature felt the need to throw an additional stick in the spokes and render this year’s the most challenging in recorded history – and on a global scale. We’ve been having an increasing number of conversations with concerned customers and partners lately who are all starting to hear more about it, and while it is something we’re watching very closely, I’m happy to say that because of (in large part) our strong regional agricultural partnerships, our 2022 supply of high-quality malting barley looks solid!

Make no mistake, next year isn’t going to be a cakewalk for ANYONE, including us. But rest assured that amidst supply chain concerns surrounding cans, kegs, bottles, pallets and steel, one challenge you WON’T have to face is your malt supply!

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