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Crisp started in 1870 when two brothers, Frederick and George Smith, recognized the unmatched quality of their two-row barley in their home county of Norfolk in the east of England and established a maltings at Great Ryburgh.

Our Norfolk, UK, maltings are still our home, and from our traditional floors, modern maltings, and new Speciality Malt Plant, we produce a huge range of brewing and distilling malts for imaginative brewers and distillers, not just in the UK but all over the world. Wherever there is craft beer and spirits, you’ll find us.

Through our wholesale distributor Brewing Supply Group (BSG) here in the USA, we can fulfill any size of order from a few kilos to bulk truck loads. Regardless of your brewery or distillery size, our team of brewers and maltsters will work with you to provide the technical malt support to get the very best from our premium malted grains.

No. 1 Independent Maltster in Great Britain


Frederick and his brother George Smith own a grain mill and 288 acres in Little Ryburgh. They expanded by purchasing land in Dereham and Wells before setting up Malthouses in Great Ryburgh and Dereham.


1878 – 1899

The brothers expand further and lease the Malthouse in Wells from Mr Stephen Leeds for 12 years at a rent of £133 pa (approx £12,000 in today’s money).

On 26th June 1890, the formal incorporation of F & G Smith (Ltd) took place.

F & G Smith’s malting operation continues to grow. In 1899, evidence shows they were exporting malt to Ireland and Australia. It is likely that they were exporting to other countries as well.

1878 - 1899

1904 – 1939

In 1904, Chapman’s Maltings was purchased in Wells, and in 1939 No.1 Malthouse in Wells was purchased for £700.

1904 - 1939

1940 – 1942

In 1940, during World War II, bombs destroyed No.5 Malthouse at Great Ryburgh.

The Directors’ minutes on 26th June 1943 describe the effects of another bombing in 1942: “the company’s properties at Ryburgh were again severely damaged at about 6.10 p.m. on 3rd August 1942 Bank Holiday. Four 500lb H.E. bombs were dropped from a low altitude, the first entering the kiln and exploding on the roadway under the east side archway, felling both arches and demolishing almost the whole of the kiln and malt stores, the engine house and its overhead gangway, and the west end of the barley kiln, and severely blasting other buildings particularly the Foreman’s house, chapel and public house.”

Production in Great Ryburgh ceases for two years while the process of cleaning up and rebuilding takes place. This presents the opportunity to rebuild and modernize.

1940 - 1942


The No.19 Floor Maltings in Great Ryburgh, damaged in the 1942 bombings, is faithfully restored, and a new barley store is built.


1951 – 1981

In 1951, the first pneumatic malting equipment was installed to increase production and modernize the process, and the malt and barley stores were expanded to keep up with production.

The “Rotunda” Barley silo is built and is capable of storing 9,000 tonnes of barley.

Portgordon Speyside Maltings in Scotland began production in 1979, and Ditchingham Suffolk Maltings in England started production in 1981.

1951 - 1981

1989 – 1991

The Board invests £6 million in a new, modern, stainless steel plant at Great Ryburgh, increasing production capacity by a further 30,000 tonnes of malt.

Further investment in 1991 led to an additional 30,000 tonnes of production capacity.

1989 - 1991

2002 – 2009

Alloa Maltings is purchased and increases the total production capacity to 210,000 tonnes per annum.

Between 2005 and 2009, there were new investments in Alloa Maltings in Scotland, with upgrades to the kiln, steeping vessels, and germination process control.

In 2009, Mistley Essex Maltings in the UK was acquired, which puts the total production capacity to 245,000 tonnes, whilst also increasing the product range by offering production of other grains such as wheat and rye.

2002 - 2009

2014 – 2016

Micronized Food Products is acquired and adds torrefied and flaked cereals to the product range.

Tivoli Maltings in Hamburg, Germany and Bydgoszcz Maltings in Poland are acquired, increasing the total production capacity to 425,000 tonnes per annum.

2014 - 2016


Three significant investments: at Great Ryburgh, a new efficient automated bagging line is installed, as well as a Speciality Malt Plant – the only one of its kind in the UK!

Plus, there is a new kiln installed for peated malt in Portgordon Speyside in Scotland.



This year marks 150 years of Crisp Malt. 150 years of making the finest malt – using both traditional and modern methods – from the best barley, grown in ideal conditions. We’re looking forward to continuing for the next 150!


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