North Dakota Farming Family Innovating in the Craft Brewing Industry

The Stober family has been growing barley for over 100 years on their 6th generation farm in Goodrich, North Dakota. Brothers Jared and Donovan Stober have started Two Track Malting to sell malted barley directly to craft breweries around the nation. “We have grown barley for more than 100 years… We realized we could sell malted barley to craft brewers with traceable information of where that barley was grown,” shared Jared.

The Stober Family Success

After graduating from high school, Jared Stober attended the University of North Dakota where he earned
a degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. As a student, Jared began researching the market need for flax in the grocery industry. The result of this research was the creation of Flax USA by the Stober family.

Within a year of graduating from UND, Jared and the Stober family had signed contracts with Sam’s Club and Costco Wholesale and soon their flax products were in over 16,000 retailers across the nation. After 10 years operating Flax USA, the Stober family sold the company and exited the flax industry. “I learned more in that 10 year period building a national company… it wasn’t long after the sale of Flax USA that our family began asking what the next product would be,” explained Jared.

Two Track Malting

Realizing the industry need, Jared and Donovan Stober created Two Track Malting with a desire to create unique malted barley that stood apart from commercial malted barley. “Field to Pint” and “Full Flavor American Malt” are two phrases that Jared and Two Track Malting are marketing for their product.

 

“Our customers really like the traceability of our product…they can access brewing specs, satellite images of the farm, a backstory on the farm, and even Growing Degree Days for the particular batch of barley,” explained Jared. This information is shared through the use of QR codes attached to each product sent to craft brewers who purchase Two Track Malting’s products. This wealth of information allows the craft brewers to engage their customers with a story about the ingredients used in their craft beers.

Currently, the Two Track Malting team is expanding their capacity to produce between 10-15 tons of sellable malted barley per week. The Stobers have faced challenges during the start of this company, but they have been solved through North Dakota connections and teamwork. Jared shared, “We didn’t know how to malt, but we worked with North Dakota State University and were later referred to Chris Fries who helped establish our production plant in Bismarck, North Dakota.” With current production, Two Track Malting is supplying craft breweries with malted barley in 23 states nationwide.

With the success of Flax USA and the lessons learned from that endeavor, Jared is seeking to build a balanced team at Two Track Malting. “Donovan is the financial mind and farmer, Chris is the professional Maltster, and I am the business mind behind Two Track Malting,” explained Jared. With current work to expand production, the team is focused on building a strong business based in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Learn more from Jared Stober and Two Track Malting as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.

Brent McNeal