Shakopee, Minn. – Rahr Corporation debuted its malt house and other new spaces to 650 neighbors and the local brewing community on Saturday, September 24. Rahr began the $68 million expansion project in April 2015 and completed it six months ahead of schedule.
“This project is focused on taking our quality, capabilities and service to an even higher level,” said William Rahr, president and chief executive officer of Rahr Corporation, a family-owned business for the past 169 years. “We’re adding 28 full-time employees at our home base in Shakopee to make this growth possible and meet the needs of a thriving brewing and beverage industry.”
Rahr manufactures malt – a key component in beer – and distributes this and other ingredients to brewers and beverage makers worldwide, including nearly 90% of Minnesota’s 110 breweries, from Steel Toe Brewing to August Schell Brewing Company. About one-quarter of American-brewed beers contain Rahr malt, which moving forward will originate from the company’s new malt house, the focal point of the expansion.
At 115,000 square feet, the new malt house makes Rahr’s headquarters in Shakopee – located in the southwest Twin Cities of Minnesota – the largest single-site malting facility in the world. The expansion increases the annual malting capacity from 390,000 to 460,000 metric tons – enough to brew about 12 billion 12-ounce cans of light beer or 6 billion bottles of craft beer.
Additionally, the expansion includes a 20,000-square-foot research brewery and technical center that enable Rahr to test the performance of its products in a realistic brewery environment, as well as an 80,000-square-foot distribution and packaging facility. This facility is used primarily for warehousing and bagging by Brewers Supply Group, a Rahr Corporation subsidiary that supplies premium ingredients to brewers, winemakers, distillers, and home fermentation retailers.
“Firestone Walker Brewing Company has been partnered with Rahr Malting since 2001. We have enjoyed a long and productive relationship through many years of growth and an ever-evolving beer landscape. Consistent, clean and good flavored malt is at the core of all good beer and Rahr has delivered world-class malt to us year in and year out. The talented and dedicated Rahr team has played a key role in the success of our brewery." Matt Brynildson - Brewmaster at Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles CA.
The grand opening of Rahr’s new facilities in Shakopee included facility tours and a brief program featuring remarks from William Rahr and Scott County Commissioner Mike Beard.
“Rahr Malting is a vital part of the local economy and the fabric of this community,” said Scott County Commissioner Mike Beard. “The company’s most recent investment in its Shakopee headquarters is a win-win for Rahr and Scott County well into the future.”
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded $610,000 in Job Creation Fund resources to Rahr in April 2015. DEED’s funding approval followed the City of Shakopee’s approval in March 2015 of Rahr’s tax increment financing request. Combined, the state and city approvals helped Rahr launch its latest expansion and job creation.
Rahr Corporation, which was founded by German immigrant and brewer William Rahr in 1847, is still owned and operated by the Rahr family, now in its fifth and sixth generations. Along with malt production plants in Shakopee, Minnesota, and Alix, Alberta, the company has a barley procurement and distribution business in Taft, North Dakota; a hop processing facility in Yakima, Washington; and within Brewers Supply Group, has a network of 11 leased warehouses throughout the United States and Canada focused on supporting the craft brewer and homebrewing industry. For more information, visit rahr.com.