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The Magnesian Limestone Ridge at the East of our district yields some of Britain's finest malting barley.

At the heart of many of the famous independent brews, and some national brands is Fawcett's Malt. Fawcetts merged with their depression-hit neighbours, Austin Brothers in 1935. Today, Fawcett's remain as one of the few Maltsters outside of whisky distilleries, still operating a floor malting, in conjunction with a saladin maltings and a state of the art automated germinating kilning vessel (GKV). However it's the floor malted barley which is becoming increasingly scarce and sought-after by craft brewers both here and overseas.

Tour the Maltings with Wakefield CAMRA who were privileged to have a branch visit 7th May 2004. 

You'll find these sacks in most local small brewers. (photo at Anglo Dutch Brewery)

Link to Fawcett's website 

and to the Government's own mine of information provided by the Valuation Office. (you will need to type "malting" into the search facility reachable from the foot of the homepage.

Simpsons of Berwick, the largest totally independent family owned maltsters in Britain operated a Drum Maltings in Pontefract, until 2003, producing gently made pale ale and lager malts for the breweries located either side of the Pennines. The Maltings' buildings did remain as a landmark on the Pontefract sky-line but disappear Autumn 2007.

In Drum Maltings the malting is carried out in large drums that turn the grain mechanically, as opposed to traditional floor maltings.

click on photo for higher definition image


Simpsons Malt Ltd, Monkhill Maltings, Ferrybridge Rd, Pontefract, WF8 2NU. Before its acquisition by Simpsons, this had been one of two sites owned locally from by W.J.Robson Ltd, the other being on

Back Northgate, of which part survived demolition to become the new bus garage for South Yorkshire Motors when their site made way for a new Tesco.  

Demolished Autumn 2007 See the last remains onPicasa. If this link does not take you directly to the 

album, type or copy key words Simpsons Pontefract into the photo search box - the album link

should be at the right.

The largest totally independently family owned maltsters in the UK - Simpsons Malt
Lord Raglan Maltings' buildings still survive as a vestige from Mitchell Brothers' Brewery in Whitwood Mere, Castleford, although malting ceased there in the 1950s link to Mitchell Brothers and a number of other defunct maltsters on Lost Brewers page