(POWER) Barley growers across the region gathered last week for MillerCoors’ annual Barley Days.
This year featured a special guest: Pete Coors, the former chairman of MillerCoors.
“We can’t brew good beer if we don’t have great barley,” Coors said. “Montana is responsible for about 25 percent of all malting barley we use in brewing our beer. It’s just a beautiful place and the barley we get out here is phenomenal.”
The group met at the 4-year-old MillerCoors grain elevators in Power, Montana.
“It all starts with the growers. Our barley farmers are, many of them, multi-generational. They’re dedicated to producing a fantastic crop,” Coors said.
And although barley is in the early stages of production, Coors says it is an important piece of the puzzle.
“First of all, you have to have a great variety of barley. You have to have growers that know how to produce it in a way that it works. And then you got to have barley that’s good for them, but also good for brewing,” Coors said.
The crew gave Coors a tour of the facility and information on how operations work.
“I’m extremely proud of the job our team does here, they just do an extraordinary job. As I say, there’s an important link to the whole thing of getting barley from the farmers back to our maltsters to make great beer,” Coors said.
But the employees at the elevators are celebrating other victories too.
“Our entire team is enormously proud of this facility. When you tour the facility, it is clean, very efficient operation. So, from the standpoint of just looking at an elevator, there’s almost nothing like it. This elevator is receiving the top award from OSHA in terms of safety and quality,” Coors said.
Coors says it is his third visit to Power to meet with the growers.
“It’s a personal relationship. Some of these people we’ve met time and time again. We come to literally thank them for growing for us and for doing such a great job,” Coors said. “We couldn’t do what we do without them. We take it very seriously, but it’s part of the process and we have a lot of fun too.”