T: +44 (0) 1328 829 391

The History of
Crisp Malting Group



Frederick and his brother George Smith owned a grain mill and 288 acres in Little Ryburgh. They expanded by purchasing land in East Dereham and Wells before deciding to enter into malting. They set up a Malthouse in Dereham.


The brothers expand further and the Malthouse leased in Wells from Mr. Stephen Leeds for 12 years at a rent of £133p.a.


F & G Smith (Ltd) formal incorporation took place on June 26th.


F & G Smith's malting operation grew strength to strength and reached much larger markets. Evidence shows that by this time, they had already been exporting malt to Ireland and Australia. It is likely that F & G Smith were exporting to other countries as well.

The image shown is from the book: The Smiths of Ryburgh by Betty Wharton (1990). It shows an extract from the Eastern Daily Press in 1899 discussing malt being delivered to Dublin in Ireland. There is also mention of deliveries to Sydney and other Australian colonies.



Chapman's Maltings purchased in Wells


No.1 Malthouse in Wells bought for £700


Bombs destroy No.5 Malthouse in Ryburgh


The Directors minutes on June 26th 1943 describes the effects of another bombing in 1942:

"the Company’s properties at Ryburgh were again severely damaged at about 6.10 p.m. on August 3rd 1942 Bank Holiday. Four 500lb H.E. bombs were dropped from a low altitude, the first entering the kiln and exploding on the roadway under the east side archway, felling both arches and demolishing almost the whole of the kiln and malt stores, the engine house and its overhead gangway, and the west end of the barley kiln, and severely blasting other buildings particularly the Foreman’s house, chapel and public house."

Production in Ryburgh ceased for two years while the process of cleaning up and rebuilding took place. This presented the opportunity to rebuild and modernise.

"The second bomb entered the Malt stores, smashed a 14 inch square beam, passed through the 22 inch wall at the N.E. corner, hit and bent the railway points on the private siding, and finally exploded on the main line near the north end of the platform, severely blasting the walls and roof of the east side of the Maltings and demolishing the office."


A new air-conditioned plant was installed in Dereham


The No. 19 Floor Maltings in Ryburgh, which was completely destroyed in the 1942 bombings, was finally restored as it always had been and a new barley store was built.


The first pneumatic malting equipment was installed to increase production and modernise the process. The malt and barley stores were also expanded to keep up with production.


The "Rotunda" Barley silo was built and is capable of storing 9,000 tonnes of barley.


EDME purchased.


Portgordon Maltings begins production


Ditchingham Maltings begins production.


Board decide to invest in a new, modern and stainless steel plant in Great Ryburgh, which costs £6 million and increased production capacity by a further 30,000 tonnes of malt.


Another investment leads to an additional 30,000 tonnes production capacity of malt.



Alloa Maltings was purchased and increase the company's total production capacity to 215,000 tonnes per annum.


New investments spent on Alloa Maltings kiln, with new equipment for indirect firing installed to replace the direct fired kiln burners.


Further investment in Alloa Maltings germination vessels to improve the humidification process.


More investment made by the board. The conical steeping vessels at Alloa Maltings received an upgrade to improve airflow volumes and CO2 extraction.

Production capacity is increased overall due to the acquisition of Mistley Maltings, which puts total production capacity to almost 250,000 tonnes also increasing the company's product range, offering production of other grains such as wheat and rye.


Acquired Micronized Food Products adds torrefied and flaked cereals to product range.


Acquired GlobalMalt Group in Germany and Poland, increasing the total production capacity to 432,000 tonnes per annum.

Contact Us

Crisp Malting Group
Great Ryburgh
NR21 7AS

T: + 44 01328 829 391
F: + 44 01328 829 645
E: sales@crispmalt.com
E: info@crispmalt.com

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