Blue Ox Malthouse Wins Two Prestigious Malt Cup Awards

Blue Ox Malthouse was awarded two Malt Cup awards by the Craft Maltsters Guild on March 17 at the annual Craft Malt Conference held this month in Portland, Maine. This esteemed international competition is the only recognition program of its kind for the malting grain industry. The award comes at the 10 year anniversary of Blue Ox Malthouse’s incorporation to become Maine’s first malthouse. 

Among the 90 total entries from 34 malthouses in four malt categories, Blue Ox received bronze Malt Cup awards in the Pale and Light Munich categories. Entries were scored by 200 judges that included barley breeders, brewers, distillers, maltsters, Beer Judge Certification Program participants, and Cicerones in three rounds of comprehensive analysis that included the hot steep process. 

Blue Ox’s light, clean, and crisp Pale has mild sweet and grainy aromas and is fully modified for high extract and enzyme potential. It’s malted to elevate the foundation of lighter beer styles like Kolsch, Blondes and Pales. Their Light Munich style yields lightly toasted bread crust flavors rounded by a deep biscuity sweetness with hints of peanut butter. It’s malted to build character for many beer styles. 

Both these styles are built of malting barley grown and sourced from Aroostook County Maine–consistent with Blue Ox Malthouse’s mission to support and build local robust, resilient, supply chains. Unusually, these products are also made using the traditional floor malting techniques–a hands-on artisanal approach in which grain is germinated on concrete floors and turned by hand. This method is more common in Europe and Blue Ox Malthouse is one of the few North American malthouses dedicated to using this style of production. 

Now in its fifth year, the Malt Cup is facilitated by the Craft Maltsters Guild— the trade association supporting the work of craft malthouses across the globe— in collaboration with Montana State University’s Malt Quality Lab and sensory analysis company DraughtLab. 

“We’ve known for years that we are making top quality, world-class products that present Maine and Maine grains in the best light possible. It is great to have that validated in such a competitive, high caliber competition,” says Joel Alex, Founder and CEO of Blue Ox Malthouse. Additionally Alex went on to say that “perhaps the most meaningful part for me is the recognition this gives our staff for the great work they do every day to bring these products to life. Winning for the first time while we were hosting the conference here in our home state with our tenth anniversary coming up next month is particularly special!” 

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