Blue Ox Malthouse
Joel Alex verges on surpassing his own expectations of pioneering as founder of Blue Ox Malthouse. In 2013, at age 27, Joel pitched his new idea to Slow Money Maine. Since then, his inspiration,
integrity and perseverance have been distinctive assets in learning more about the industry and finding a wide array of financing and technical assistance to support his enterprise.
To date, he’s received a Tech Start Grant, Seed Grant and Development Loan from Maine Technology Institute; two technical assistance (TA) grants from the Maine Grain Alliance; two R&D awards from the Libra Future Fund; an honorary grant from the Mitchell Institute; TA support through the Fair Food Fund and investments from CEI & SMM investors. Joel has also completed MCED’s Top Gun Program, attended Fair Food Fund’s Boot Camp and is a finalist for major funds in the Green Light ME contest.
Among the three SMM investors is Steve Culver who began as Joel’s mentor and is now an equity partner and CFO. Steve was able to leverage FAME’s Sed Capital Tax Program to pass on tax benefits for investors as well as register the business as a Pine Tree Development Zone to receive further tax benefits.
Using two tons of grain from Aroostook County, Joel processed his first pilot batch of malts in January 2014 at Coastal Farms & Food in Belfast. When that business failed he was able to use Northern Girl’s facility in Limestone to continue his product trials until he found a longterm lease for a Lisbon Falls facility in January 2015. The operation now plans to increase production from 300 to over 8000 pounds per batch, using a traditional floor malting system.
The company is certified by MOFGA as a dual processor of both organic and conventional grains. It is well-positioned, as the state’s firs malthouse, to meet the growth of breweries in Maine that has doubled from 36 to over 70 in the past two years!
Added Jan 2016
Photos c/o Blue Ox Malthouse Facebook Page
blue ox malthouse
41 Capital Ave.
Lisbon Falls, ME 04252