Press-Republican

Business

January 27, 2013

Country Malt Group continues to grow

CHAMPLAIN — Country Malt Group is expanding in Champlain once more.

Managing Director Bryan Bechard said the company is the exclusive North American malt distributor for Canada Malting, Great Western Malting, Bairds Malt, Best Malz, Thomas Fawcett and Sons and Malteries Franco-Belges. They also import and distribute several varieties of domestic and imported hops, as well as other supplies and ingredients used in the brewing process to craft brewers such as Magic Hat, Saranac and Dogfish Head.

Company has grown

The company has outgrown the ability to package and distribute in its present Champlain location, Bechard said. They have signed a lease for a 40,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center from The Development Corp. in its Champlain Industrial Park.

The Development Corp. President and CEO Paul Grasso Jr. welcomed the new tenant.

“Country Malt Group is already a valuable member of our business community and TDC is delighted to be able to support their growing business needs,” he said in a news release.

He started North Country Malt Supply with his father, Claude, in a small tool shed behind Claude’s home in 1995. 

They moved to the original 7,200-square-foot building at the present location at 16 Beeman Way in the Town of Champlain in 1997-98. Half of that space was originally rented to another company.

Bechard said his sister, Robin Bechard, was his first employee.

“She’s my right-hand person. She’s very involved in the business,” he said.

Building expanded

The other tenant eventually left, which helped create space for continued growth. In 2001, Country Malt added about 5,000 square feet to the back of the building.

The company added packaging lines as they grew, eventually moving from primitive to more advanced and automated systems.

Country Malt Group joined with United Malt Holdings in 2006, when the latter decided it wanted to get into the craft brewer market. The Chicago location was added, which provided a well-centralized location for the operation.

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