The Spiritual Home of Malting Barley
Warminster Maltings was built in 1855 by William Morgan, an established maltster and brewer in the town of the same name. It was built around the punitive regulations laid down by the Malt Tax. It was remodelled in 1879 by Morgan’s son, William Frank Morgan, still adhering to the rules of the Malt Tax. This tax was repealed just one year later in 1880, so the original and unique design features have remained ever since.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Edwin Sloper Beaven, a member of the Morgan family, put himself and the maltings firmly on the world’s map. Beaven, a self taught plant breeder, bred the first genetically true variety of barley in the world. Named Plumage Archer, this barley was selected for it’s outstanding malting and brewing qualities. It went on to provide most of the UK’s malt requirements across the British Isles for the next 40 years.
By 1950, Guinness had taken over the maltings, and continued to operate it until 1994.
When Guinness moved out, Chris Garratt, head maltster, began a new venture supplying local breweries. But this initiative required more funding, and so in 2001, Robin Appel, the Hampshire based barley merchant, acquired the business.
In the 2002 budget, the introduction of Progressive Beer Duty boosted the emergence of small independent breweries. Warminster Maltings production capability is perfectly matched to this market, and so the business has continued to flourish ever since.