Hugh Baird & Sons has been supplying European brewers with roasted malts for over 100 years. The company originated as a family business in 1823 in Glasgow, Scotland, and remained privately held until 1896. By 1960, Hugh Baird & Sons was operating over 20 floor maltings throughout Scotland and England. In 1989, Hugh Baird was purchased along with Great Western Malting Company by Canada Malting Company. Six years later, the group of malting companies was collectively purchased by the worldwide network ConAgra Malt. All three companies continue to operate as independent subsidiaries of ConAgra Malt. Hugh Baird malt is distributed in North America exclusively by Canada Malting Company.
Hugh Baird's contemporary strategy has been to tighten operations and strengthen alliances with compatible partners. Accordingly, Hugh Baird reduced the number of its plants and modernized those that remained. The company now operates just two malting facilities. Its Pencaitland, Scotland, facility has a capacity of 65,000 metric tonnes (over 72,000 U.S. tons). Its other plant, located 80 km northeast of London in Witham, England, is capable of producing 90,000 metric tonnes (over 100,000 U.S. tons), 12,000 of which is derived from the plant's internal roast house. Both plants are situated in areas well known for the quality of their malting barley.
In addition to supplying to the major breweries in the UK and around the world, Hugh Baird has long provided raw materials to the UK's independent breweries and in recent years increased the supply to include some of the the UK's leading microbreweries and many of the craft breweries of North America.
Hugh Baird's malts are made of two-row UK barley processed at the
company's facility in Pencaitland, Scotland, or in Witham, England.
Black malt (roasted malt): Produced by roasting kilned malt at temperatures up to 482 °F (250 °C), this malt lends color and flavor to dark beers.
British pale ale malt: This well-modified malt is made from Maris Otter barley.
Brown (amber) malt: This product is typically created by roasting kilned pale malt at a temperature of about 284 °F (140 °C) to achieve a dry, almost bitter flavor.
Caramel (crystal) malt: Manufactured using a method basically the same as that of CarastanTMexcept at higher roasting temperature for a longer time. This malt has more intense flavors than Carastan(tm), but with similar characteristics. Available in three color ranges: 50-60 °L, 70-80 °L, and 90-115 °L.
Carastan(tm): The germinating malt is stewed to break down starches and proteins and then is roasted at temperatures of 302 °F (150 °C) for varying periods of time until the liquid interior sets to a hard caramel-like mass. The result is a pale, brown-colored malt with a caramel/toffee-like flavor.
Chocolate malt: Made the same way as black malt, except that it is roasted less to preserve a lighter color.
Dark crystal malt: A highly roasted caramel malt characterized by an intense caramel flavor and slight burnt notes.
Light Carastan(tm): Final roasting is prolonged at a lower temperature to achieve a low target color.
Munich malt: Germinating Harrington malt is stewed, then lightly kilned at temperatures below 212 °F (100 °C), resulting in a malt that lends color without introducing the caramel/crystal flavor.
Organic malt: Produced from organic Alexis two-row barley.
Peated malt: Normal malted barley is subjected to smoke from an external peat fire at the kilning stage. The smoke is allowed to blend with the air passing through the grain and is absorbed into the surface of the grain. The degree of "peatiness" (phenol) depends on the length of time the grain is exposed to the peat smoke. Available in two phenol ranges, 4-6 ppm and 5-12 ppm.
Premium Pilsen: Used for brewing all-malt premium lagers.
Roasted barley: Barley roasted at temperatures up to 482 °F (250 °C). Lends color and a flavor that is sharper and drier than that of roasted malt.
Scottish malt: Used to create authentic Scottish ales.
Stout malt: A traditional stout malt.
Vienna: Used to create dark lager beer of the Vienna or Märzen style, dark in color with a reddish tinge. Vienna malt usually forms only about 10-15% of the grist when blended with a normal lager malt and perhaps some Caramalt(tm).