• Coopers Malting manager Dr Doug Stewart.
    Coopers Malting manager Dr Doug Stewart.

The strength of Australia’s craft brewing and distilling sector has been good for business at Coopers Brewery’s new malting plant.

The Maltings, which opened in late 2017 at Regency Park, South Australia, has now reached 90 per cent capacity, well ahead of budget, Coopers says, partly thanks to stronger than anticipated demand from Australia’s growing craft beverages sector.

The amount of malt sold to local craft brewers so far is enough to brew about 25 million litres of beer, the company says, and sales have also been made to whisky distillers in Sydney, Melbourne and regional South Australia.

Coopers Malting manager Dr Doug Stewart said domestic craft brewers and distillers are expected to use about 5500 tonnes of malt this year – more than 10 per cent of annual production, with demand continuing to grow.

“The maltings has the capacity to produce up to 54,000 tonnes of malt a year,” Stewart said. “Coopers uses approximately 16,000 tonnes a year with the balance available to domestic and international brewers and food producers.”

Coopers currently produces distilling malt, single origin pilsner style, pale and ale malts which vary slightly for the international and domestic markets, as well as malt made from heirloom barley.

“We have signed a number of international sales agreements and have been pleased with the response from local customers, who purchase the malt through our agents Ellerslie Hops in Victoria," Stewart said. "Ellerslie now has warehousing in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane for convenient local distribution.”

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