Food21 Value Center Launches Allegheny Mountain Malt Commodity

Barley ready for harvest at Heinnickel Farms, Westmoreland County, PA

Food21 of Pennsylvania, as a result of its successful Farm to Tap project, has launched a regional malted barley branded as Allegheny Mountain Malt. The malt is produced in collaboration with CNC Malt in Fenelton, PA, and farmers in Westmoreland county. It will be distributed by Zilka and Company, located in Hunker, PA.

“Market research that grew out of Food21’s Farm to Tap project showed that regional breweries are eager to include more local ingredients in their beers,” said Vince Mangini, Food21 Value Center Manager. “At the same time, local farmers are pursuing more sustainable farming practices, and barley is a perfect cover crop.”

Using barely as a winter cover crop protects soil from wind and water erosion and helps hold moisture. After harvest, the field stubble continues to prevent soil erosion, and helps to suppress weeds and provide organic matter to sustain crop production. Additionally, leaving barley straw in the field returns nutrients to the soil, helps to build organic matter and allows farmers to save money on fertilizer costs.

“Another advantage in planting barley is that its season rotates well with soybeans,” added Fred Slezak, certified crop advisor and owner at Lone Maple Ag Services, and a grower for Allegheny Mountain Malt. “It not only promotes soil health in no-till farming, but it also retains the soil very well and has a monetary value.”

“We are getting ready to harvest 100 acres of barley at six different farms,” said Mangini. “Fingers crossed… we are expecting to yield 80 bushels per acre, so a total of 8,000 bushels. In partnership with CNC Malt, that should produce around 360,000 pounds of Allegheny Mountain Malt!”

Allegheny Mountain Malt is available in four unique flavor profiles — Latrobe Two Row, Pilsner, Vienna and Munich — or can be custom malted at a brewmaster’s request. To purchase malt or for more information, visit or contact Zilka and Company by phone at (724)858-8101; or email Brian Williams [email protected].

Photo courtesy Food21

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