By Tiffany Puza
Every once in a while, you stumble across a business that’s just doing things right.
From processes to people, the Cody family is doing just that. They founded the Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa in 2008 on the site of their 80-year-old family farm. The company now grows and processes malts for a variety of Colorado-based breweries and distilleries.
Colorado Malting is headquartered on a quaint farm down a long, rustic road. The agrarian view is vast and stretches flat for many miles before eventually reaching a distant mountain range. It isn’t some big corporation with workers buzzing around pushing buttons. It’s a family farm with intensive labor and intense passion for what they do.
President and CEO Jason Cody has been involved from the start.
“It was unique to watch the industry be created from an idea,” he said. “We watched the initial growth. In 2008 there were only three craft malting companies [in Colorado], now there are over 40.”
With the continued growth of craft breweries and distilleries, there’s no slowing down in the malt industry. The brewing and malting industries have a lot of history and a lot of tradition. In recent years, many brewers have taken advantage of imported ingredients from other corners of the world. But traditional brewing began with local sourcing.
“It’s been a return to the old way of doing things,” said Cody. “Companies are wanting to use quality local product. We’re taking beer back to its roots and bringing the ingredients to the door of the brewery.”
So who were some of their first craft beer supporters?
“San Luis Valley Brewing in Alamosa used the first batch of malt we ever made,” Cody said. “Three Barrel Brewing in Del Norte bought the first batch of malt we ever sold.”
Today, some of Colorado Malting Company’s biggest customers are New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins and Laws Whiskey House in Denver.
Enriching the local craft beverage community is paramount to the Cody family.
“It’s what’s in your beer that makes it local, not just where it was brewed,” Cody said. “Giving that local terroir to the consumer – people need to know what’s in their beer. We’re trying to revive the industry to what it once was.”
While there is certainly something to be said for having access to exciting hops, malt, and other ingredients from areas of the world beyond our reach, there is no doubt that consuming a beverage made with ingredients from our own backyard is something quite extraordinary.
Former Boulder resident Tiffany Puza is usually stuck between a rock and a beer place.