Malt Storage Q&A: Red Hare’s Bobby Thomas

In a continuing series about malt storage with breweries across the country, we stop in Marietta, Georgia, where Red Hare has had a grain silo for nearly all of its existence, said brewer Bobby Thomas. “We started off using all bags of malt,” he said about the six-year-old brewery that opened in 2011. “Within a year we went to a 30,000 pounds silo.”

The Southern staple that distributes to most of the Southeast uses a simple 2-row malt as a base for most beers, but it really still depends on the beer, Thomas noted.

BREWER: How has malt storage on site changed for you as you have grown?
THOMAS: We’ve gone from only having a few bags of specialty grain on hand to basically pallets of specialty- or at least one to two batches worth of each beer at a time. 

BREWER: How did you factor in things like weather, logistics and other such things when figuring out new storage areas?
THOMAS: We try to keep grain as close to the brewhouse area as possible — set up shelves and such. We do have to sometimes adjust mash/strike temperatures when it’s super cold outside.

BREWER: When did having a silo become a part of the conversation to purchase? How has it been a good ROI for you?
THOMAS: Yes, we knew we wanted/needed a grain silo early on — within the first year.  Yes, it has been a huge cost savings as well as being much easier on our backs.

More on malt storage with Cape May’s Jimmy Valm here and Track 7’s Ryan Graham here.

Read more about silos and malt storage in the March/April issue of Brewer Magazine.

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