USA: Briess to close Waterloo malthouse

Briess Malt & Ingredients, Inc., the largest and one of the best known specialty maltsters in the United States has announced plans to close one of its three malting plants. The facility in Waterloo, Wisconsin, had been in operation since 1902 and belongs to Briess since 1995.

15 people will lose their jobs but will be offered opportunities at Briess’ other malt plants, located in Manitowoc and Chilton, Wisconsin. However, the Chilton plant will also be phased out ending a 119-year tradition, Briess President and Chief Operating Officer Ryan O’Toole said two years ago. (, 18.3.2019)

Production of the Waterloo plant will be transferred to the plant in Manitowoc, which is only a two hour drive apart from Waterloo. “The Manitowoc facility has the infrastructure and capacity to meet our customers’ needs now and into the future,” the company said in a statement.

In 2014 Briess purchased the facility which consisted of a 4.3-million bushel (93.000 tons) barley storage/cleaning/grading and a former malting operation. Manitowoc is the original location of Rahr Malting Company which the Rahr family sold in 1962 to Anheuser Busch. The latter invested heavily but all six malthouses were decommissioned in 2011 when the complex was sold for grain storage. After Briess bought the site, they became aware that the newest of the six Manitowoc malthouses could be brought back online.

“We have invested heavily in our specialty malt facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin,” Briess said now. Last year, the company finished a three-year and USD 17 million program to expand the production capacity of the plant to 65,000 tons. Work included demolition of aging structures followed by a rebuilding project, adding underground water and sewer, installing four custom roasters, and constructing new grain silos and an automated packaging line for production and packaging of specialty roasted malts.

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