1. How long has Cryer Malt been supplying ANZ brewers and distillers with Bairds Malt?
27 years. We started business in 1993 but they were known then as Moray Firth Maltings.
2. Why did you start supplying Bairds Malt to ANZ brewers and distillers?
At the time Peter Ellis, the CEO, was married to my cousin Fiona and he had seen that craft beer doing well in the USA and there had been a pick-up in Cask Ale in the UK. I was working in the Wool Industry, which was at that time in the doldrums, so he knew I had time to spare. You can see a couple of photos of Peter on the wall of the boardroom of Bairds Malt’s Inverness Malting.
3. What malts from their portfolio sets Bairds apart? What is about their malts that you like?
Bairds consistently malt to a high quality and their export team have serviced us well. Their involvement in the UK distilling market demands high-quality DIFOTQ so we get the benefit of that.
4. Do you have a favourite malt from the Bairds Malt portfolio? Why?
From the get-go, it was Maris Otter along with the related varieties Halcyon and Pipkin. Varieties have evolved yet Maris is still there, the brewers love it.
5. How has Bairds Malt adapted and innovated to keep producing high-quality malt products for their local and international customers?
Farming requires an evolution of barley varieties to deliver yields to the Grower but also malting quality to the Maltster and Brewer. Bairds has managed this relationship well with newer varieties coming on regularly.
6. Bairds Malts have also become renowned as the perfect ingredients for distilling and spirits. Name some Bairds malts which you feel are best suited to distilling and why.
Down here in the Antipodes, Australian and New Zealand Distillers have always loved the Peated products with Yeastie Boys using it in the beer Rex Attitude and Sexy Rexy. Let’s also remember Dobson’s Distillery and their Belle Epoque Single Malt Whiskey which won awards in World competitions.
7. Name some of your favourite beers or spirits which feature Bairds Malts.
8. Any other comments on Bairds Malts?
As Cryer Malt closes in on 30 years of history, it pleases me that I have a relationship with Bairds of 30 years as well. It speaks volumes to the consistency, quality and service which keeps it going.