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Construction begins on 1886 Malt House in Volney

By Eric Reinhardt


VOLNEY, N.Y. — Construction is underway on the 1886 Malt House, a $9.1 million, malted-grain production facility at the former Miller Brewing campus in Volney, near Fulton.

The 40,000-square-foot facility is “on the site of, and part of,” the Sunoco Ethanol plant on the agri-business campus, according to its news release issued Thursday.

The project will create “a number” of new jobs.

They’ll include eight jobs in the malt house and a “substantial” number of “indirect” jobs in logistics, grain growing, and construction, Erin Tones, the company’s marketing and logistics manager, said in an email response to a BJNN inquiry.

The 1886 Malt House has assembled its leadership and facilities-management teams. The company will complete the hiring of “key” quality control and operations personnel by the end of the year.

The Salina–based C&S Companies is handling construction on the project, Tones added.

Construction of 1886 Malt House “was made possible, in part, through the pledge” of a $700,000 grant. The funding is from the Central New York regional economic-development council’s win of $500 million in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative, which was announced in late 2015.

The company expects to begin commissioning of the initial malt systems in late March, with full operations at the facility beginning in July, according to its news release.

At full production rate, the company expects the facility to supply 60 tons of malt per week — or 2,000 tons of malt annually — making it “one of the largest craft-malting facilities in the U.S.,” the company said.

“We are very excited about this project and the opportunity to support the craft-beverage industry across New York State,” Noel McCarthy, Maltster at the 1886 Malt House, said in the news release. “We are making a considerable investment in the best production technology, quality-control procedures, and experienced personnel to support an operation that will ensure we deliver the highest quality malt.”

The company name, 1886 Malt House, commemorates the year that France gave the Statue of Liberty to the U.S.

The company also considers it a “throw back to a time when New York State had a craft brewery in every town and the idea of being local was not new, it was a way of life,” it said in its news release.

Farm-brewing law
The New York State Legislature in 2012 approved a bill that included the creation of a farm-brewery license allowing craft brewers to expand their operations through opening restaurants or selling new products.

Cuomo signed the bill at the Matt Brewing Co. in Utica.

That law has generated “considerable growth” in New York’s craft brewing and distilling industry, the 1886 Malt House contends.

The law requires the more than 120 breweries and 90 distilleries in New York that carry the “farm” designation to use an “escalating” percentage of New York grown and produced ingredients.

Those ingredients include hops and malt, according to the company’s news release.

New York currently has a total of more than 300 active breweries and more than 140 active distilleries.

The growing demand for craft malt has “outpaced the growth” of the New York malt supply.  The 1886 Malt House seeks to play a “critical role” in supplying product to meet the increasing demand, the company said.

The “key” to producing quality malt in sufficient volume to satisfy the demand begins with “securing the finest malting grains,” it contends.

The 1886 Malt House continues to contract with malting-barley producers from across New York to secure more than 2,000 acres it needs to satisfy production yields in 2017, according to its news release.

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