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July 19, 2018 | USGC
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Barley Industry Tries to Capture Brewing Demand from Mexico

USGC brings craft brewers to meet with U.S. farmers, malting facilities

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is helping ensure pints of Mexican craft beer remain equally satisfying on both ends of the tap through market development activities like a trade team in July that brought Mexican craft brewers to meet directly with U.S. barley farmers and malting facilities.

“Mexican breweries are making substantial investments in new brewing, malting and bottle manufacturing plants,” says Javier Chavez, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Mexico marketing specialist. “The growth and investment in this industry represents additional demand for U.S. malted barley and barley for malt.”

The Mexican craft brewer team visited five craft breweries to learn how their U.S. counterparts handle procurement, quality and inventory management.

Although representing much smaller demand than the larger breweries, craft brewing is growing exponentially each year in Mexico. As early starters in this market begin selling their brands through supermarkets, and smaller breweries carve out market niches in specialized craft beer bars and upscale restaurants, the craft brewing industry needs to learn how to sustain their own growth.

USGC is assisting Mexican breweries of all sizes with sourcing one of their most important ingredients - high-quality malt produced from U.S. barley. As part of this effort, USGC brought five representatives from growing craft breweries in Tijuana to North Dakota and Montana in July to learn more about the U.S. barley production and malting industries.

The team visited five craft breweries to learn how their U.S. counterparts handle procurement, quality and inventory management. The team also met with the North Dakota Barley Council, the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee and malt industry representatives to discuss opportunities for direct purchasing.

“Mexican craft brewers came to learn how barley is produced and how the malting process works,” Chavez says. “Seeing firsthand how malt is procured, managed and stored in bins helped the team conclude that to grow as a brewer, they need to seek ways to become more competitive.”

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