Malteurop has announced to close one of its three malthouses in the United States. The malthouse in Milwaukee, Wisconsin will gradually close down within the next half year. A notice to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reads that “due to the economic impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Malteurop North America will be idling production at its Milwaukee facility at 3830 West Grant Street, Milwaukee, WI. This action is expected to result in the permanent elimination of 28 employees. The company expects to begin eliminating positions on August 15, 2021 and will continue in phases until January 1, 2022.”
The malthouse in Milwaukee was built at its current location in the early 1920s by Froedtert Malt after the original malthouse in central Milwaukee was destroyed by a fire. It was “the most modern and the largest malting plant in the world under one roof ... with an annual malting capacity of four million bushels ...” as a company stated in a brochure from 1925.
Froedtert Malt was established in 1875 by the two German-born brothers William and Jacob Froedtert and was in the late 1930s the world’s largest malting company. In 1986 Lesaffre, a French company involved in the production of yeast, yeast extracts, malt, baking ingredients andanimal feed, bought Froedert Malt and merged it in 1998 with the malting business of Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM). The combined company, known as International Malting Co. (IMC), had its headquarters in Milwaukee. IMC operated in the United States under the name Froedtert Malt, in Canada under the name Dominion Malt and in Europe under the name Grandes Malteries Modernes.
In 2006, after the closure of the French malthouse in Marquette-lez-Lille, Lesaffre sold its share in IMC to ADM, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of ADM. Two years later in 2008, ADM decided to withdraw from the malting business and sold the malthouses in Winona, Minnesota; Winnipeg, Canada and Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Malteurop.
With the closure of the Milwaukee Malthouse, a long and proud history of malting comes now to an end.