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Forging a new LINC

Local craft malting has a new name in Spokane.

What’s been operating as Palouse Pint is being rebranded as LINC Malt in keeping with its parent company, the LINC Foods farmer co-op (which stands for Local Inland Northwest Cooperative).

That will formally launch at a Spokane Craft Beer Week event next Wednesday at Cochinito Taqueria featuring a half-dozen local brews made with the malt.

“We’ve been around for a while and are starting to spread our wings a bit more,” Dan Jackson, LINC Foods’ sales and marketing director, says of the malting operation. “Having the LINC name gets us more in line with who we are.”

LINC Foods distributes member-grown goods to restaurants, grocery stores, school districts and other institutions throughout the Inland Northwest.  

It launched Palouse Pint in April 2016 at the Spokane Business & Industrial Park in Spokane Valley. Since then it has sold malted barley, wheat, triticale and other locally grown grains to 15 breweries and five distilleries in the Spokane area and beyond.

Beers from six of those brewers will pour at next Wednesday’s event from 5 to 9 p.m.:

– Bellwether’s Mexican-style amber Cochinito Lager, brewed with lime juice and zest as the house beer for the downtown restaurant.

– Badass Backyard’s Marzen.

– Black Label’s Palouse ESB.

– A Summer Wheat from Genus Brewing (at Nu Home Brew & Bottles in Spokane Valley).

– The Steam Plant’s Boiler 5 red IPA.

– Whistle Punk’s Baronesse Pilsner, named after LINC Malt’s main barley variety grown at Joseph’s Grainery in Colfax.

They’ll be accompanied by a pairing menu matching each beer with a different type of taco, along with free appetizers using produce from LINC farms. LINC maltster Joel Williamson and Joseph’s farmer Bill Myers will be on hand.

LINC malts also were used as the base grains in the beers brewed for Bellwether’s annual Brewers’ Showdown homebrew competition for Craft Beer Week. That kicks off next Thursday at the brewery and customer voting will continue through Saturday.

“It will be fun to see what those guys experimented with,” says Brian Estes, LINC's Malt Partnerships Coordinator.

LINC Malt is preparing an expansion to double its annual capacity to 400 tons starting this fall to meet growing demand.