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Bryan Simpson, New Belgium PR Director, with Brian Simpson, co-founder of Riverbend Malt House.

Riverbend Malt House’s Rye Malt Travels the Nation with New Belgium Hop Kitchen Collaboration

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Asheville, NC – December 9, 2013 – The Spring 2014 release from New Belgium Brewing’s Hop Kitchen series will be a Rye IPA using rye grown in North Carolina and malted by Riverbend Malt House in Asheville.

This is the first time that a beer made with North Carolina craft malt will be given this degree of national distribution. The forthcoming collaboration will feature a variety of rye that’s been grown in North Carolina since the Civil War.

“Having been grown by farmers in North Carolina for over 200 hundred years and hand crafted utilizing traditional floor malting techniques, the Carolina Rye malt embodies the terroir of the southeast,” said Riverbend co-founder Brian Simpson. “Riverbend Malt House is excited that New Belgium will bring this taste of the South to so many new palates.”

New Belgium and Riverbend began working together in May, with the development of a special beer exclusively for Asheville Beer Week – a Rye Saison using Riverbend’s Carolina Rye malt. Brewers were so pleased with the beer that they decided to use the Carolina Rye in their series of quarterly releases called Hop Kitchen.

“I heard of these guys when a few of us came down during Asheville Beer Week last year,” said New Belgium brewer, Matty Gilliland. “We set up a visit to their facility and were pretty blown away by the operation. They were doing 1,000 lb. batches by hand. The quality of their craft and their unbelievable work ethic left an indelible impression on us.”

Since announcing plans to open a second brewery in Asheville, New Belgium has been an active participant in their new community, investing in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and partnering with more than 10 regional non-profits and colleagues in the brewing industry. This partnership with Riverbend is just one example.

The Hop Kitchen Rye IPA will be released to select markets in March 2014.


Founded in 2010, Riverbend Malt House is the only production scale malting facility in the southeast United States. Riverbend’s mission is to provide area craft brewers and distillers with locally farmed, artisan malts, helping to reduce the industry’s impact on the planet. As a founding member of the North American Craft Maltsters Guild, Riverbend Malt House is a leading force in the nation’s micro-malt movement. Learn more at


New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews eight year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at

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