Briess Malt & Ingredients Co. has announced a US$17 million expansion of its barley processing and malting facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Briess supplies specialty ingredients to food and pet food manufacturers.

The plan includes replacing an aging structure and installing a roaster and automated packaging line for the production and packaging of specialty malts. The expansion plan is scheduled to start immediately.

“Now all Briess production sites will have roasting capability,” said Briess President Ryan O’Toole in a press release. The project will also increase capacity, add system redundancy and improve the company’s supply chain efficiency. “It’s a capital investment by the Briess family that’s good for our customers and good for the community.”

Selecting the expansion site

Manitowoc was selected as the site for the company’s eighth roaster after more than a year of study and discussion. O’Toole said that the barley processing operation in Wyoming was also thoroughly researched and considered. 

“We selected our Manitowoc campus for several reasons,” O’Toole said in a press release. “Manitowoc is a great community with great employees, and it offers a long history of malting. That fits well with the Briess malting tradition. The Manitowoc malting operation began in the 1860s, and the Briess family began malting in Czechoslovakia in 1876. Now in its fifth generation, the Briess family is excited to expand its North American specialty malt business in Manitowoc. It’s a great story.”

The city also played a key role in the selection, recently approving a Tax Increment Finance District that includes Briess and several other properties in downtown Manitowoc.

Specialty malts in the pet food industry

Over the past five years, Briess has expanded its position as a supplier of specialty malts to the American Craft Beer and Artisan Spirits communities. A growing number of food and pet food manufacturers are also turning to specialty malts for natural color and flavor, replacing artificial ingredients to produce healthier products.

Staffing is expected to increase by 8 to 10 employees when the plant is fully operational.