Fire crews, which were called to fight a fire at Briess Malt & Ingredients Co. in Waterloo, Wisconsin, on Thursday at around 9:00 p.m, took 30 minutes to gain control over the fire. The fire broke out at a four foot space within the roof that contains insulation. Because of grain, which is stored and processed in the building the firemen had to act very cautious.
According to Waterloo Assistant Fire Chief Wesley Benisch there was an escalated risk of a possible explosion with possible grain dust inside. "It could have been a lot worse," said Benisch. "It just happened to be the fire was up in the insulation area, in the roof area and didn't go down into the grain bins."
The cause of the fire and the amount of the damage is still unknown but it looks like the 142 year old Moravian company, which truly became American by taking over a malting in the US in 1978, just came away with no more than a black eye.
Over the past five years, Briess has expanded its position as a leading supplier of specialty malts to the American Craft Beer and Artisan Spirits communities. A growing number of food and petfood manufacturers are also turning to specialty malts for natural color and flavor, replacing artificial ingredients to produce better-for-you products.