Colorado maltster Todd Olander capitalizes on craft beer trend at Root Shoot Malting

When Todd Olander and his wife, Emily, opened the doors of their new malt house in August 2016, they expected the product to fly out the door. Instead, it took several months of pounding the pavement to sell the first 2,000 pounds as the couple attempted to convince craft brewers across the northern Front Range to give them a try. “We thought we’d made a big mistake,” Olander recalled recently. But after they hired a full-time salesman with a background in brewing, the tide turned. “In 2017, we were able to pay our bills, so that was a success for us,” Olander said. By 2018, Root Shoot Malting, located near Loveland, was selling everything it could make. The on-farm facility produces 20 tons of malt annually, which represents 1 million pounds of raw grain.

Olander shared his story in a YouTube video, produced and posted by the Colorado Grain Chain, as part of a series showcasing various uses for heritage grains. Olander was joined by malthouse manager Mike Myers to talk about what went into building the business from the ground up and the process behind making award-winning malts for craft breweries and distilleries.

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