Malt = made in Armenia? (2015-08-17)

Soon, a word combination Armenian malt and Armenian malting barley will not be surprising for the world malt and brewing community.

By the statement of Ashot Bagdasaryan, the Head of CJSC “Erevan beer” (co-investor of the plant), Gyumri malt plant is ready to process all high quality malting barley grown in the Republic. The second co-investor of the malt plant is LLC “Gyumri garedzur” (“Gyumri beer”).

Just on five years ago, Barley, Malt, Hops & Beer Union lent necessary scientific and technological support, including cultivation technologies, know-how and test volumes of different malting barley varieties to LLC “Erevan beer” within a planned agro project. Shirak Plateau in the north of the country was chosen as the most favorable region for malting barley. Delivered volumes of German and Hungarian barley varieties have been tested in Shirac farms and selection stations in Gyumri, later, in the selection station in Sisian and an individual farmer in Vardenis. Tested sowing was also made in Alhalkaliki, Caucasus. Trials showed a yield figure of 40 c/ha and more – half – two times higher than current yield in the Republic. 

A request for support of the mentioned agro-project and allocating funds for purchasing of foreign malting barley has been addressed to the Government of Armenia but it received no response.  

Tell the truth, we didn’t know that our work will continue taking into account the fact that yield and quality characteristics of tested barley varieties will conform to the specifications of the world malt companies.

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It bears noting that in Soviet days, the malt plant was a part of Gyumri beer-malt company, using barley from other republics. Since 90-s, beer plants in Armenia have been importing malt from Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Germany.

So, even 15 years ago, “Erevan beer” was planning to construct a malt plant based on local raw materials. An estimated barley processing is 25 thousand tons and it is planning to get 15 thousand tons of malt. Consumption of the local market is approximately 7-10 thousand tons and this figure can be increased due to emerging of new small breweries.

Georgia can purchase near 7 thousand tons of malt and Iran, why not? So, the Armenian plant could be focused on export, moreover there were no plants in Georgia, Azerbaidzhan and eastern regions of Turkey.  

Currently, construction and installation activities are advanced.

The plant will put in commission this year. A number of employees will be 250-300 and near 800 farmers will grow malt barley.  

“Now, the ball is in a farmer’s court. Firstly, it is necessary to provide a high quality product- we gave farmers an up-close look at all requirements. Secondly, we would cut production costs if small farms could unite into a cooperative but they don’t stain for it,” Ashot Bagdasaryan noted.

Anyway, we agree to farmers’ price if it will be a quality product. We are ready to buy everything offered by farmers, added Ashot. 

Today almost all German equipment Lausmann, one of the world leaders in construction of malt plants, has been set up. Equipment check-out is controlled by specialists from Czechia.

In order to meet the requirements, it is necessary 6 thousand ha (near 8% of barley areas in Armenia). For the time being a slight share of areas are agreed but we are expecting farmer’s interest increase in 2016.

We’d like to wish our colleagues from Armenia – brewing plants “Kilikiya”, “Erevan beer”, “Gyumri beer” and agricultural producers success in plans implementation and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and personally, the Head of the Infrastructure Department for Quality and Technical Regulation Lili Pogosovna Maksudyan close cooperation with our Union within the project of the Eurasian Economic Community – Technical Regulations “On Safety of Alcohol Products”.

Malt made in Armenia = Welcome!


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