The roasting traditions of Bairds Malt can be traced back to the 1800s, when the Baird brothers set up as maltsters in Glasgow before expanding their operations into the south of England. In 1925, Hugh Baird purchased the Witham malting site in Essex, in the heart of the ‘granary of England’ and a prime area for growing barley in the UK. Originally a floor maltings, it underwent an extensive refurbishment in the 1960’s. In operation now for over sixty years, Bairds’ Witham Roast House has been a leading supplier of roasted malt to the brewing industry worldwide. Although times have changed since its opening, the underlying roasting process and the company’s passion for creating a quality product remains the same.
Bairds and our sister company Scotgrain work together each year to hold an Early Evaluation Program (EEP) to trial new malting barley varieties. This evaluation is done at two assessment sites located in Carnoustie (early sown), and Inverness (later sown).
We have been serving Scottish breweries since the early 1800s.
Back when we had a brewery on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal in Glasgow, we would also sell malt and hops to local breweries and distilleries. We were also one the first Maltsters in Scotland to produce roasted malts and the canal was used to send malt across to Guinness in Dublin and to brewers in the North of England.
Peated malt is a speciality product predominantly used by Distillers to produce peated whisky, although it is occasionally used by Brewers to produced beers with smoky undertones. For Baird’s, peated malt is solely produced at the Inverness plant in the Highland capital to service both the domestic and export markets, products range from lightly peated distilling malt though to heavily peated distilling malt. Malting is an art consisting of three very distinct stages, they are steeping, germination and kilning. Kilning is the point where peat reek(smoke) is introduced to the malt bed to impart the wonderful smoky characters to the grains.