Bye bye, barley?

Skagit Valley Malting closure has grain growers scrambling

 
A field of barley is ready for harvest

Weekly News file photo

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN NEED BUYER – This field of barley on Chilberg Road east of La Conner was a bountiful crop the summer of 2020. Local farmers were thrilled to have Skagit Valley Malting buy their harvest. The company's sudden closure has left them scrambling for alternatives.

Amber waves of grain are beautiful, until you can't sell them.

Dave Hedlin's barley fields along Chilberg Road – labeled "Spring Malting Barley" on crop signs – will be ripe in about a week, along with several other fields tucked in around La Conner.

Unfortunately, Hedlin's barley buyer, Skagit Valley Malting, closed abruptly on Friday, June 16.

Hedlin grows about 100 acres of conventional barley and 100 acres of organic a year for Skagit Valley Malting, which turned locally grown barleys into craft malted barley for 272 brewers and distillers.

The Good Beer Hunting blog reported th...



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