case studies | acres to ales
Building a craft barley supply chain
LCS Acres to Ales Program

As U.S. craft breweries continue to boom, so does the volume of all-malt style beers produced. The supply and variety of craft barley can’t keep up with demand. Limagrain Cereal Seeds (LCS) has a solution in Acres to Ales.

of malting barley grown in the U.S. is used by craft brewers
of U.S. adults live within 10 miles of a craft brewery
craft breweries in the U.S. (far exceeding the rest of the world)
Craft barley worthy of the craft beer industry

As brewers seek to craft more specialized beers sourced with more local ingredients, craft barley has become an essential part of the conversation. Demand for craft barley has reached critical mass.

Maltsters are leading the way, demanding specialty barley varieties so they can offer brewers premium malt. Brewers are beginning to recognize the impact malting barley has on their brews — in terms of flavor, texture and mouthfeel — and are starting to ask their maltsters for craft malts made from specific craft barley varieties. And consumers are entering the fray, too, requesting and paying a premium for beer that is grown, malted and brewed locally.

In response to demand, LCS created Acres to Ales, a groundbreaking craft beer supply chain that starts with superior LCS craft barley varieties grown by local farmers. Grain is transformed into flavorful malt by local maltsters and then into truly local beers by brewers. Malting barley stays in the neighborhood from grain to glass, giving brewers unprecedented control over the quality and flavor of their creations.

Local tastes better
A craft beer brewed within an Acres to Ales supply chain typically has a 25-mile footprint from plant to pint. Consumers can taste the flavors from the grower, maltster and brewer who created their beer just down the road.
Building a brand, launching a movement

Toolbox helped LCS craft an identity for the Acres to Ales initiative to address demand for unique, flavorful craft barley varieties. Boiling high-tech breeding science and complex supply chain structures down to pint-sized, tasty consumable servings was no small task — but sampling the end product kept us inspired throughout the process.

The Acres to Ales initiative launched locally (naturally) in 2015 with a tap takeover event, bringing together barley breeders, maltsters, farmers, brewers and consumers — all to share a pint brewed with LCS Genie malting barley.

Keeping demand brewing

Acres to Ales is a national initiative built one hyper-local supply chain at a time. Toolbox created a dedicated website for the initiative as an evergreen resource and recruitment tool. The site explains why local matters, describes the supply chain and features LCS barley varieties bred expressly for all-malt styles of brewing. Because most malting barley demand is generated by maltsters, the site also showcases participating maltsters and encourages more to join Acres to Ales.

To generate interest and boost brewer participation, Acres to Ales runs a full-page, full-color ad in the preeminent craft brewing publication, New Brewer Magazine. The ads challenge brewers to put as much care into selecting the malt they use as they do with their other premium ingredients, like hops.

A bountiful harvest

The Acres to Ales initiative is growing rapidly. As demand for craft barley continues to increase in the U.S. market, LCS is in an enviable position: first to market with a superior product and significant buzz. We’ll drink to that.

Toasting Acres to Ales

LCS and Toolbox won a National Best of NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) Merit Award in 2018 for our Acres to Ales ad campaign in New Brewer Magazine.

In Their Words
It’s a really nice malt—and it is now literally being grown just down the road. I like knowing that if I have an issue or a question, I can go directly to the source instead of dealing with multiple supply chains.”
— Justin Renninger, Funkwerks Brewery

See how our Brand Engineering process helped LCS build a burgeoning brand.

Acres to Ales
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