The absence of local malted barley inspired Schwebach’s LLC to produce it in the Estancia Valley and Hatch.
It was brought to the attention of farmers Ryan Schwebach and Harvey Morrow that the only thing local in many New Mexico craft beers is the water. The farmers wanted to offer New Mexico breweries an option to buy local, and they began growing high-quality, two-row barley. Canteen Brewhouse, Marble Brewery, Steel Bender Brewyard, Ex Novo Brewing Co. and Turtle Mountain Brewing Co. tried the first batch.
“When I went on this endeavor, I thought, they’re going to like local,” Schwebach said. “They’re going to love it. We’re going to get this stuff malted, and they’re just going to take it off the shelves. Come to find out the first batches of malting turned out some horrible malt. … Fortunately, these guys, as a trial basis, said, ‘Let’s make some beer.’ They all made small batches. … So they made a very simple beer that will extrapolate the flavors, color and reaction of the malt.”