Independent Barley & Malt Named a Finalist in $3 Million Grow-NY Business Competition

308 418 Independent Malt

Michigan company is one of 18 with a chance to win up to $1 million
LITCHFIELD, MI — SEPT. 26, 2019 — Independent Barley & Malt, Inc (IB&M) , a Michigan-based company preparing to build a commercial-scale malting facility in Litchfield, Michigan, was recently announced as a finalist in the inaugural Grow-NY food and beverage innovation and agriculture technology business challenge.

Empire State Development (New York) and Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement announced that Independent Barley & Malt (IB&M) has been chosen among a group of 18 finalists for the Grow-NY food and beverage innovation and agriculture technology business challenge. In New York, IB&M has been working to create a grain refining supply chain that unites locally-grown barley, locally-produced malt, and local craft beverage and specialty food manufacturers into an integrated ecosystem ensuring a local supply of world-class, competitively priced malt products manufactured at IB&M’s second proposed facility in Syracuse, New York.

IB&M joins 17 other finalists from across the U.S., Canada, and Germany in working over the next three months with mentors and competition organizers in Upstate New York to compete for $3 million in startup funding. This includes a $1 million grand prize, which will be unveiled at the Grow-NY Food and Ag Summit on Nov. 12 and 13 at the Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, N.Y.

Grow-NY is an unprecedented business competition focused on enhancing the emerging food and agriculture innovation cluster currently present in the Finger Lakes, Central New York and Southern Tier regions. In just the first year of a three-year commitment, Grow-NY attracted 199 completed applications from 23 different states and 16 countries around the world, as well as hundreds of additional partial applications and inquiries from food and agriculture startups from across the nation and around the world.

Empire State Development is providing funding for the Grow-NY competition through its Upstate Revitalization Initiative, with administration support from Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement. The winner will be required to locate and/or conduct business in the Grow-NY region which features counties within Central NY, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier of New York State where there are vibrant farmlands as well as several major urban centers, including Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton. The winning business will help contribute to job growth, connect with local industry partners and contribute to a thriving economy.

IB&M was chosen as a Grow-NY finalist by a panel of 30 independent judges comprising the spectrum of food, beverage and agriculture businesses and academics. Grow-NY will award prize money to seven winners this November, all payable in stages, based on business milestones. This includes the $1 million top prize, two $500,000 prizes and four smaller amounts. Tax incentives will also be included.

IB&M leaders believe they have developed something unique in their industry. According to IB&M CEO, Michael Cooper, “Independent Barley & Malt’s vision is to build on our efforts developing our Michigan facility by expanding to New York State. Independent Barley & Malt is establishing a Great Lakes ecosystem to grow and produce quality, locally-sourced malted grains for the craft beverage and specialty food industries. Being designated a Grow-NY finalist is a vote of confidence for our plan, our team, and our ability to execute.”

The IB&M grain refining ecosystem will unite local barley production, local malt production, local energy, and local craft brewers and distillers to provide a dependable supply of locally processed, world-class, competitively priced malt products. At full scale, IB&M’s state-of-the-art, commercial-scale grain refining facility in Litchfield, MI, will employ over 60 full-time staff and produce over 50,000 tons per year of malts and other grains.

This year, IB&M announced a multi-year supply agreement with Maumee, Ohio-based agribusiness The Andersons, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANDE) to supply malting barley and other grains to IB&M’s facilities. The Andersons owns and operates a grain elevator in Geneva, New York as well as a number of elevators in Michigan, including Reading and Auburn. For more information visit

To learn more about the other finalists, as well as the mentors, judges and full schedule of Grow-NY events, please visit

To read Governor Cuomo’s announcement of the 18 Finalists Selected for Round One of Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Business Competition click here.

# # #

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) promotes a vigorous and growing state economy, encourages business investment and job creation, and supports diverse, prosperous local economies across New York State through the efficient use of loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing and other forms of assistance. To learn more about ESD visit

About the Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement
The Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) supports economic impact in Upstate New York through entrepreneurship and innovation. We help people advance ideas that will create jobs in all fields in our region, to enrich the area’s economic diversity. To learn more, visit

About Independent Barley & Malt
Independent Barley & Malt (IB&M) has created a grain refining ecosystem that unites local barley production, local malt production, local energy, and local craft brewers and distillers to provide a dependable supply of locally processed, world-class, competitively priced malt products.

The center of the IB&M ecosystem are two state-of-the-art, commercial-scale grain refining facilities each producing over 50,000 tons per year of malts and other grains located in Litchfield, Michigan and Syracuse, New York. Through our innovative model, IB&M can deliver malt at a price that is equal to or less than current prices of generic, low character products or products grown and manufactured far most breweries or distilleries.

IB&M’s unparalleled innovation will allow craft beverage producers to develop distinctive proprietary Custom Crafted Malts. Custom Crafted Malts are a true collaboration between grain growers, the malthouse, and malt buyers developed to deliver one-of-a-kind ingredients to local craft producers. To learn more, visit