Since 1862, when James Parker Simpson founded his first maltings in Alnwick, Northumberland, Simpsons Malt has been a family business. Today, the 5th generation drives the brand forward, together with father, Simon Simpson OBE. And, as an independent, family-run business we invest in those areas of the business where we see room for improvement or innovation.
Our history, your success
Innovation has always been at the heart of Simpsons Malt. Looking back at our company history, two defining moments mark our family’s drive to ensure the all-important supply of quality malt for our customers.
“In the late 1950s our grandfather Richard L. Simpson travelled to Holland, where he researched a new style of malting in operation. In the Saladin box, an instrument that allowed for barley to be mechanically turned two or three times a day, he saw the potential for competitive, efficient and consistent malting quality, all year round.
This marked a significant change from his existing floor maltings, where grain had to be turned by hand to prevent matting, often at the mercy of external factors like the weather.
On his return to England, our grandfather instructed his engineers to build a pilot Saladin box and soon realised that this style of operation would mean that all his malting could be done in one place, rather than across the 17 malting floors that were currently in use. The new Saladin box malting was built in Berwick in the early 1960s.
In the late 1980s another shift change was seen, with the introduction of cutting edge germinating and kilning vessels at our Tivetshall plant in Norfolk. This move was seen to improve both the productivity, hygiene and working conditions of the operation – and the consistency and quality of the resulting malts at the amounts and specifications required by our customers. We have built another 12 vessels since and each commission has brought new innovative modifications.”
Richard Simpson, Vice Chairman
Expansion and growth
In the early 1980s we expanded our maltings in Berwick-upon-Tweed, becoming home to McCreath, Simpson. In 1984 we expanded further and formed our agricultural trading arm, McCreath, Simpson and Prentice (MSP).
In 2011 we acquired agricultural merchants John Guthrie Ltd. This purchase extended our close links to our farming partners and expanded our geographical spread beyond the Scottish Borders and the North of England.
“Our supply chain – from farmer to brewer or distiller – is short, and the farmers we work with become part of our extended family.”
Richard Simpson, Vice Chairman
Our expertise produces the best malts
Like the sought-after heritage malts we champion – the Maris Otter variety recently celebrated its 50th birthday – everyone at Simpsons Malt is proud of the history, heritage, experience and expertise behind the brand.
“I help to grow the ingredients for the best beers in the world and I’m very proud of that.”
Will Hamilton, Mixed and Arable Farmer, Coldingham, Berwickshire
Traceability and heritage
Our teams at both Berwick and Tivetshall still employ the long-standing principles that have passed from generation to generation to make the best possible malt. Like the heritage behind our brand, so every delivery that leaves our maltings is fully traceable.
“My perception is that Simpsons is going from being a very family-oriented business that’s absolutely driven by a passion for its product, into being a corporate business. And it’s the keeping of that blend, that mix, that’s vitally important to the Simpsons family.”
Rob Goudie, Production Manager, Berwick-upon-Tweed
From the agronomic studies that match certified seeds to our partner farmers’ lands, to the time spent training our hand-picked distributors in the qualities and attributes of our malt, service and quality are all important.
Creativity and versatility
At Simpsons Malt we understand your ambitions to make the best beers and whiskies possible. That’s why we produce a wide range of consistently high quality malts for reliably excellent results.
“No other malt gives the same exceptional flavour to our beers that Golden Promise provides, and that’s why we’ve used it for over 40 years.”
Andy Leman, Head Brewer, Timothy Taylor and Co Ltd.
From our heritage varieties, Golden Promise and Maris Otter, to our Red Rye Crystal and Golden Naked Oats, we know that to make better beer and better whisky, it’s all about taste and flavour.
“We use Simpsons Malt as one of our primary specialty malts because we find it to have outstanding quality and consistency. We love the flavour and the wide range of malts available.”
Steve Dresler, Master Brewer, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.