Maltster invests £3.3m in new plant

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Crisp Maltings' new peat kiln has helped double production
Crisp Maltings' new peat kiln has helped double production

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Norfolk-based Crisp Maltings has invested £3.3m in a new plant at its site in Portgordon on the north coast of Scotland, in a bid to meet demand for premium speciality malt.

The peat kiln – which incorporated a custom-built peat burner from Don Valley Engineering in Doncaster – has helped double the manufacturer’s production capacity to nearly 40,000t of peated malt a year.

The new burner has allowed Crisp to continue manufacturing using traditional methods more efficiently, according to craft brewing and distilling sales manager Colin Johnston.

Traditional methods

“The smoky characteristics produced by utilising this traditional method ensure that the flavour intensity lasts through the transport, mashing, brewing and distilling processes – even if the malt is being sent around the world,”​ he said.

“With the exceptionally high levels of phenol we’re able to achieve with the new burner, we are looking to release a ‘Super Heavy Peated’ malt in 2020.”

Peat used in Crisp’s production is sourced from the Scottish Highlands while the barley comes from farms local to the manufacturer.

Supply across the world

“Our new plant gives us the capacity to supply craft distillers in Scotland, Britain and across the world with premium peated malt produced in Scotland,”​ Johnston added. “I’m keen to talk to distillers looking to produce whiskies with distinctive smoky, Scottish peat flavours and aromas.”

The investment in its Portgordon site comes 15 months after the opening of a new speciality malt plant in Great Ryburgh, near Fakenham​ as part of a £6.7m spend to capitalise on the growth of craft brewing and distilling.

Commenting at the time, director Rob Moody said the new site offered precision and great potential for new product development. 

Meanwhile, the 25% tariff on US imports of Scotch whisky will put jobs at risk and stunt investment and productivity in the sector,​ according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

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