Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

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2017 / 2016 / 2015 / 2014 / 2012-13 / 2011 / 2010 / 2009 / 2008 / 2007 / 2006

2017 Regional Award Winner

Barn Owl Malt Inc., Hastings County

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MPP Lou Rinaldi, Leslie Huffman and Devin Huffman

MPP Lou Rinaldi, Leslie Huffman and Devin Huffman

Great craft beer requires great malt and that's where Barn Owl Malt comes in. Owners Devin and Leslie Huffman start with local barley and produce their aromatic malts in small batches. The key to their innovation is "floor malting" - a traditional process dating back to the 1800s that involves spreading steeped grain over a germination floor to give the final product a distinct, rich flavour. Floor malting uses one-third the water of standard, large-scale malting plants, and a specially designed septic system with bio-digester treats all the wastewater on site. This process has allowed for a new premium valued market for Ontario agricultural products, while offering local brewers a unique opportunity to produce four distinctive malts, each one traceable back to the grower.