Upper Moreland’s Double Eagle Malt Intent on Changing Beer Game

Alan Don
This farm in Kentucky grows malted barley for Double Eagle Malt in Upper Moreland Township.

Very little of the barley and other malted grains in the beer and spirits consumed in Greater Philadelphia is actually from the region.

However, Double Eagle Malt, a craft maltster based in Upper Moreland Township’s Huntingdon Valley, is on a mission to change that, writes Harold Brubaker of Philly.com.

Double Eagle Malt buys grain from farmers in the area, turns it into malt by allowing it to partially germinate, and sells it to brewers like Hershey’s Tröegs Brewing and Pottstown’s Sly Fox Brewing.

During the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia this week, Double Eagle and other members of the Craft Maltsters Guild will highlight beers made with their malts at a tap takeover Wednesday at the Fox & Hound in Center City.

According to Brubaker, one of the biggest challenges for malt houses is finding farmers to grow barley for malting rather than feeding cattle.

“You need to produce a different kind of grain that has lower protein, less disease, and plumper kernels,” Gregory W. Roth, a professor of agronomy at Penn State, told the Inquirer.

Farmers need to put more effort into their crop, such as applying fungicide, to get the quality of barley needed for malt.

It pays off, though, as the price for feed barley is $2.50 to $3 a bushel but $6 to $8 per bushel for malting barley.

Alan Gladish, the founder of Double Eagle, sells half of his malt to brewers and half to distillers.

Click here to read more about Double Eagle Malt on Philly.com.