by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Peterson Quality Malt and the owners of Hotel Vermont in Burlington have purchased Nordic Farm. The historic, long-time dairy with its famous red roof stands above Route 7 just before the highway dips down into Charlotte village. The dairy farm, like many others in Vermont, financially failed last year. Until 2014 it was owned by the Hinsdale family. This new endeavor enables Monkton maltster Andrew Peterson to expand capacity and supply Vermont breweries with local malt and keep the iconic 583-acre farm in agriculture.
Yankee Farm Credit of Middlebury facilitated the transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As the demand for Vermont grown and malted grains continues to increase beyond what I can produce in Monkton, the opportunity to expand to the iconic Nordic Farm is something I could not turn down. The new partnership with Hotel Vermont's owners is turning a dream into reality. We share common values and goals, and I am humbled to be the steward bringing this historic property into the future," said Andrew Peterson, who has been malting barley for Vermont brewers and distillers on his farm in Monkton, Vermont, since 2014.
Andrew Peterson of Peterson Quality Malt, is in the process of buying Nordic Farms in Charlotte, for raising malting barley. He says there are now 250 acres of the farm planted in barley. CB Hall/VBM photo. Top photo by VBM.
Malted barley is the backbone of beer, and many of Vermont's 64 breweries have embraced the use of this local ingredient.
Todd Haire of Foam Brewers in Burlington said, "We enthusiastically support Andrew and his efforts to provide freshly malted grains sourced from local farms for us to brew with, and the Vermont terroir comes through in the taste of our beers."
The farm was purchased by Peterson and several of the Partners in Hotel Vermont, including Jay Canning, Founder of Westport Hospitality in Burlington, and Matt Canning, Food and Beverage Director at Hotel Vermont.
"We see this partnership as a natural fit, since we have so many existing connections to farmers and brewers. With Andrew, we will execute a Master Plan for the Property, consisting of several agricultural uses in addition to the 350 acres planted with barley and other grains. Plans include: aquaculture, a bakery, and vegetable and flower gardens," said Jay Canning.
"Jay, Matt and the rest of the hotel team are ideal partners because they have so many strong relationships in our community. Their dedication towards keeping all that can be sourced in Vermontis incredibly important to our state," Peterson said.
Peterson Quality Malts will continue production in Monkton until the new Malthouse in Charlotte is completed in the Spring of 2019.
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In a July interview with Vermont Business Magazine, Peterson estimated that 99 percent of the malted grain – overwhelmingly barley – that is used in Vermont comes from Saskatchewan, Idaho or elsewhere out of state.
But his start-up, now in its fourth year, is producing malts from grain grown in Vermont. His product costs 30 to 100 percent more than malts out of state, he told VBM, but for some Vermont brewers, the local origin of the grain, be it barley or wheat or anything else, is a big selling point.
The Vermont Department of Agriculture produced a video about Andrew Peterson's story.
"In a time of difficult change for the Vermont agricultural world, it is very gratifying to be able to work with and alongside so many Vermont farmers. I am very grateful for all of the support and encouragement I have received," Peterson said.
Peterson Quality Malt, one of the first craft malt houses in the country, began growing and malting grains in 2014, becoming the only locally sourced malts available to the talented brewers and distillers of Vermont in over 180 years. Combining a dedication to local agriculture, advancement of the technology behind malting, and the artful creation of malts on a small scale, PQM has evolved into another success story in the ever-amazing Vermont food and beverage world.
Locally developed, designed and owned/operated, the rustic and modern Hotel Vermont was the first independent hotel to open in Burlington. Committed to showcasing its distinct Green Mountain surroundings, the hotel embodies a truly authentic "Vermont experience," cultivating numerous local partnerships. The 125-room, LEED-certified hotel welcomes guests with a wood-burning hearth and artwork by Duncan Johnson, a Vermont native who works with reclaimed wood. Highlighting the best of Vermont farms, Juniper by Chef Douglas Paine offers local fare all day, seasonal cocktails, natural wine and world-renowned beer.
SOURCE CHARLOTTE, Vt., Dec. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Peterson Quality Malt