CRISP Malt is opening a new £2 million packaging line that it said provides more access to barley that is grown, malted and packaged in Scotland.

It said it is increasing its support of Scottish farmers and Scottish craft brewers with the new automated line can bag malt in relatively small quantities, which it says suits its growing customer base of smaller Scottish craft brewers, as well as larger amounts.

It means craft brewers will have greater access to barley that has been grown, malted and bagged in Scotland.

The Alloa maltings currently produces 28,000 tonnes of malt for brewers and distillers across Scotland. The new packaging facility has four 60-tonne silos capable of packaging up to 7,000 tonnes a year.

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It packages whole or crushed malt into 25kg bags, and whole malt in 500kg and 1 tonne.

Crisp’s investment in infrastructure in Scotland, which comes as the company celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, supports two key issues around sustainability and supply chain identified in the recent Scotland Food & Drink Partnership strategic report on the brewing sector.

The report set a goal for the Scottish brewing sector to reduce its environmental footprint, and also highlighted a lack of local product in the supply chain.

Hilary Jones, chair of Scotland Food & Drink’s brewing industry leadership group, said: “We really welcome this response to one of our recommendations for unblocking barriers to growth for brewers in Scotland. The craft sector in particular has been crying out for Scottish-sourced small batches of malt, in bags rather than through bulk delivery. This is great news.”

Around 90% of the barley is sourced from Scottish farms within a 50-mile radius of the site, and the new facility supports Crisp’s local sourcing policy and its commitment to supporting Scottish farming, it said.

John Hutcheson, who grows barley less than 20 miles from the site at Leckerstone Farm, Dunfermline, and has been supplying Crisp for five years, said: “From a farmer’s point of view, we’re pleased to work with a company like Crisp which is committed to developing a lasting relationship and shortening the supply chain.”