Our History


A Family Tradition Spanning Three Centuries

1876  |  1894  |  1930s  |  1950s  |  1971  |  1978  |  1980  |  1980s  |  1990  |  1995  |  1997  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2005  |  2006  |  2008

1876 - The Briess malting tradition begins
Ignatius Briess, a grain exchanger by trade, begins malting barley grown in his homeland of Moravia, Czechoslovakia.

1894 - Rudolf Briess expands business worldwide
Ignatius's son Rudolf Briess begins exporting malt for brewing and also develops ingredients for bakers, including Maltoferm malt extracts. Almost 90 years later, the family-owned business resurrects the the Maltoferm® malt extract product line for bakers from its U.S.-based operation. It becomes a registered trademark in the U.S. owned by Briess Industries Inc.

1930s - Eric Briess moves the family business to the U.S.
After war disrupts the family malting operation in Czechoslovakia, Igantius's grandson Eric Briess moves to the United States. Here, he continues the family business by sourcing domestically produced malt and supplying customers whose sources of malt were cut off as a result of the war.

1950s - Relationship formed with Chilton Malting Co.
The Briess family strengthens its export business by establishing a relationship with Chilton Malting Company in Wisconsin, acquiring its production capacity and implementing improvements to increase capacity and product mix. Specialized drying equipment, including unique "K-Ball" roasters from Germany, are installed for the production of specialty malts. Additional K-Ball roasters are installed in the 1960s. All K-Ball roasters are eventually replaced by more efficient drum roasters.

1971 - Roger Briess continues the tradition
Ignatius's great-grandson and fourth generation maltster/brewer Roger Briess takes over the family business when Eric Briess dies.

1978 - Chilton Malting Co. becomes Briess Malting Co.
Chilton Malting Company becomes Briess Malting Company, a division of Briess Industries, Inc. Envisioning the potential of the young American Craft Beer movement, Roger Briess initiates the installation of drum roasters in the malthouse for increased capacity and more efficient production of roasted specialty malts.

1980 - Milling operation added
Lacking sufficient capital, many upstart craft breweries are opening without the equipment to mill grains. To fill the need for preground malts by the young American Craft Brewing Industry, Briess adds a milling operation and begins marketing 50-pound bags of preground malt.

1980s - Production of malt extract resumes
Briess Malting Company becomes North America‘s only vertically integrated malting company when it begins producing malt extract from its own malt. Previously produced at the family’s malting operation in Czechoslovakia, the food-grade malt extract is produced for bakery and other food products and branded as its original name of Maltoferm. Maltoferm® becomes a registered trademark owned by Briess Industries, Inc. on March 31, 1981. On May 17, 1994, CBW® becomes another registered trademark owned by Briess Industries, Inc. It is the brand name for the company’s line brewers-grade malt extracts and stands for “Concentrated Brewers Wort”

1990 - Insta Grains® plant built
Recognizing the need for all-natural ingredients by food manufacturers, Roger Briess builds a modern manufacturing plant for the production of heat treated grains. The Insta Grains® trademark was registered on February 23, 1993. Eventually roasting equipment, dry blending equipment and additional mills are installed. Today the plant produces a wide variety of value-added grains including Insta Grains® reduced cook-time grains for food and brewing, Briess® Roasted Grains for food, and custom dry blending. The milling operation eventually moves into the plant for more efficient production of preground malts for breweries.

1995 - Second malthouse adds capacity
Responding to increased demand for specialty malts by the American Craft Beer industry, Briess Industries Inc. purchases a second malthouse in Waterloo, Wisconsin.

1997 - Second roasting operation built
A second roasting operation is built at the company’s manufacturing location in Waterloo, Wisconsin. The drum roasters, like their counterparts in the Chilton Malthouse, are capable of producing a wide range of roasted specialty malts for brewing and food applications.

2001 - Monica Briess continues the family business
Monica Briess, wife of Roger Briess, takes over the family business after the unexpected passing of Roger on April 25, 2001. The couple has two sons, Craig and Colin.

2002 - State-of-the-art extract plant commissioned
Reinforcing its commitment to the production of high quality malt extracts and natural sweeteners, the company commissions a new, state-of-the-art extract production facility at its Chilton, Wisconsin, location in February 2002.


2003 - Briess Malt & Ingredients Co. is born
To better reflect its position as a supplier of value-added ingredients to both the brewing and food industries, the company name is expanded to Briess Malt & Ingredients Company, a division of Briess Industries, Inc.

2005 - Extract plant dryer commissioned
Commissioning a new dryer in March 2005 gives the company total control, under one roof, of the production, extraction and drying of malt extracts and natural sweeteners.

2006 - 130th Anniversary Malt released
To celebrate 130 years of malting tradition, Briess releases a limited edition 130th Anniversary Malt. Produced in its Chilton Malthouse from domestically grown 2-Row Moravian Malt, the 130th Anniversary Malt is malted following traditional Czechoslovakian malting techniques to produce a light-colored, pilsener style malt reminiscent of malts originally produced at the family’s Czechoslovakian Malthouse. Moravian is historically the preferred barley for lager beer.

2008 - Waterloo malthouse is recommissioned
The Waterloo malthouse, which had been closed three years earlier when malt supplies outpaced demand, is recommissioned.

Return to Top

Original malthouse in Czechoslovakia

Ignatius Briess 1891 advertisement

Maltoferm is first produced for bakers in late 1890s

Rudolf Briess early 1990s letterhead

Eric Briess New York letterhead

Chilton malthouse is built in 1901

The original Chilton malthouse

The malthouse in Chilton today