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Beer Troubles Clip Malt Barley Demand

Montana’s malt barley industry is looking for new markets to make up for COVID-19 decline

A decline in beer production in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on Montana’s malt barley industry, which is looking for new markets to make up the difference, reports the Billings Gazette.

Craft brewers, who buy a substantial amount of Montana malt and malt barley, cut back on beer making as U.S. tasting rooms and restaurants closed. At the time, the Mexican brewer of Corona was forced by the Mexican government to shut down.

For Montana malt barley farmers looking for new customers, China is a potential landing spot, said Cassidy Marn, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee executive vice president.

To get U.S. barley moving into China, the United States must first certify a handling facility, which China must also approve, among other things, Marn said. It will take time to work out the details.

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