New roasting capacity at Viking Malt’s Strzegom Site

BOŻENA RYSIUKIEWICZ is the Site Manager at Viking Malt Specialties in Strzegom.

She is very proud of the historical production environment and told us about the latest news of the site. The malt house in Strzegom has been operating for 121 years, since it was started in 1897. Brewing enthusiasts visiting the site can feel the atmosphere of the old times and see over a century-old equipment which is still in good use.

How are you developing and modernising the plant?

– The last fourteen years have really been a time of profound changes in the malt house. During this period, we have replaced our electrical systems entirely, modernized our water boilers and barley malting and drying systems. A new steam boiler station was also built. In 2013, we expanded our old malt storage base and created a new one – several new silos were constructed and in the next phase more expansion is planned. Thanks to this, we currently have one of the largest warehouse bases in the south-western Poland. All silos are equipped with an individual ventilation system and devices for continuous temperature measurements. New warehouses for special malt (coloured, organic, kosher), which for various reasons require separate storage, have also been set up.

What determines such an intensive development of the malt house?

– The demand for our malt is growing all the time, not only in Europe, but also on other continents, including Asia, North and South America and Africa. In addition, the “beer revolution” in many countries, together with an incredible increase in popularity of home brewing and the emergence of craft breweries, has made malt, which is the basic raw material in beer production, more and more important raw material. That is why we have to constantly think about developing and adapting our production capacity to the market requirements.

In 2017 we started the constructing of a hall for new roasting capacity. A part of this investment was already installed and launched in early 2018 and it will be completed by the end of this year.

And probably this is not the end of the story?

– Of course not, because the roasters are the final elements of the malt production process. To keep tem busy, we have started to build new germination boxes, which are scheduled for completion at the beginning of October this year.  To support this, we are currently installing new steeping vessels as well.

Such a variety of devices probably require appropriate control tools?

– They are essential for maintaining and improving the quality of our malts. The existing systems will be replaced with a new one. We will implement such a project under the name “SCADA”. It is a specific software that visualizes the production process for the shift manager. In addition, preliminary work has been started for building a logistic center for finished and bagged products including a new packing line.  Initially, for this purpose, we were planning to develop an area of about 2.500 square meters. After the completion of this project we will be serving our customers even faster than today!

Finally, Bożena, please tell us a little about your personal life, something you want to share with us!

– I  have over 30 years of experience in the brewing and malting industry. Privately, I like  to travell and love animals. At the moment I have a dog and a cat, but there has been also raccoons and polecat-ferrets in my care. I’m a mother of two children and a grandmother of Ksawery. My favorite beer is rye beer from Browar Mostów – the Polish craft brewery located in Wrocław .

Thank You Bożena!