Small Midwest Farms Supply Sway With Grains

According to Sway Brewing + Blending’s Facebook page, the Baileys Harbor brewery/bakery purchased around 8 tons of grain last year, including barley, wheat, spelt, oats, rye, einkorn, corn and others, to use in their beers and baked items. Ninety-five percent of that grain came from small Midwest farmers, the brewery said.

The majority of Sway’s malted barley and other malted grains come from Sugar Creek Malt Co., a family-owned, Indiana-based malthouse that offers a library of specialized malts: floor malted, cold-smoked, hot-smoked, wind-dried, malted corn, Nordic-inspired malts and more.

When making beer, malted barley is the source of sugar that yeast eat to produce alcohol – sugar that is accessible through malting. The malting process consists of steeping, germinating, and kilning raw grain to degrade proteins and activate enzymes, which on brew day convert starches to soluble, fermentable sugars.

Sway also supplements many of their recipes with organic Wisconsin-grown flaked grains in an ongoing effort to incorporate sustainably-farmed ingredients grown close to home. Flaked grains provide the brewery’s beers with enhanced body and head retention, which is particularly important for the dry and lower-alcohol styles they focus on. 

The majority of Sway’s flaked grains come from Heartland Craft Grains, a family farm based in Lodi, Wisconsin, that follows regenerative farming practices, focusing on creating healthier soil and in turn growing flavorful, nutrient-dense grain. All of the flour for Sway’s bakery also comes from the same farm.

Sway Brewing + Blending is located at 2434 Cty. F in Baileys Harbor.