Food & Wine: Andrea Stanley

Courtesy of Valley Malt

Andrea Stanley

The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink

Valley Malt


As one of the first artisan maltsters in the U.S., Stanley turns grains like wheat, barley and rye into malt for craft brewers and distillers. Her malt house in western Massachusetts fills a crucial, local-ingredient gap (most malt comes from industrial producers in the Midwest or Europe) while simultaneously providing small farmers with demand for grains. “These were new crops for a lot of farms around here,” Stanley says, “so we had to bring in seeds and nurture relationships with farmers. And we also wound up creating a market for vegetable farms here that use rye as a soil-nourishing cover crop.” When Stanley started Valley Malt in 2010 there were two other craft malt houses in the U.S., one in Colorado and one in Nevada; six years later there are 40, spread across the country. Valley Malt may be tiny compared to large-scale commercial producers (they produced about 175 tons last year, up from 30 tons in 2010) but “we ship our malt the day it’s finished, whereas at the large houses shipments might be ninety days old,” Stanley says, noting that the result is aromas and flavors that are far fresher and more intense. Stanley is also the president of the Craft Maltsters Guild, an organization she helped found to work on variety trials and development to figure out which grains will grow best in different regions. 


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