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A new Milwaukee company that plans to produce malts for craft brewers said Friday it is building regional plants in Colorado and Delaware.
Proximity Malt LLC said the plants, in Monte Vista, Colo., and Laurel, Del., will serve local craft brewers and specialty malt users in the Mountain-Southwest and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country, respectively.
The company said it also expects to build a “collaboration center” in Milwaukee in 2017, a laboratory-type facility where it can work with craft brewers.
“We’re a start-up and we’re just beginning the construction of our facilities right now,” Dale Bugajski, chief financial officer, said in interview Friday.
In October, Proximity announced private equity financing of $60 million from NGP Global Agribusiness Partners.
At that time, Dale West, chief executive of Proximity Malt, noted that the vast majority of malt being produced and sold to the U.S. craft brewing industry comes from large international malting companies with production facilities designed to serve global brewers.
“In many cases craft brewers are located over a thousand miles away from existing malt facilities, which are located in the western half of the United States, Canada or Europe,” West said in a statement. “What sets Proximity Malt apart is that we will establish local raw material sources and newly constructed malting facilities in close proximity to craft brewers. Proximity Malt will provide an alternate, sustainable and customer focused line of quality base and specialty malt products right in the brewers’ backyard.”
West said NGP Global Agribusiness Partners had both the financial resources and agribusiness knowledge to support Proximity’s experienced management team “in establishing a world class start-up food and beverage ingredients company.”
Founding members of the company are from the Milwaukee area.
The company has three employees now, but will hire workers for its office and plants, Bugajski said. It has a temporary office in downtown Milwaukee, and plans to open a permanent headquarters in the Historic Third Ward in a few months, he said.
Find the original article by the Journal Sentinel.