#brewerslunch: The Salted Nut Roll Story
A truckload of malt arrives at a brewery. Barley, wheat, and/or rye in stacks of 55-pound bags is unloaded, one-ton pallet at a time – sometimes with a forklift, but more often than not by human power. The delivery is inspected and signed for, the driver waves good-bye, and a box cutter or pocketknife comes out: the hunt is on. The reward is spotted, followed by an arm reach or even a headfirst dive into the middle of the pallet to retrieve it, an Insta snap for posterity – #brewerslunch #saltednutroll
Over two decades ago, Mid-America Brewing Supply of Kasota, MN (which would eventually become Brewers Supply Group) started including hard candies with outgoing shipments. While one couldn’t say that this changed the course of American beer and brewing as we know it, it definitely started something that has made a lot of brewers happy ever since.
This treat was intended as a surprise and a token of appreciation for hard-working craft brewers who were actually, definitively changing the course of American beer and brewing as we know it, and who were also regularly unloading thousands of pounds of malt by hand. Once Mid-America Brewing Supply became BSG in 2004, the treat evolved from random hard candies to a Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll.
Look what we used to call our newsletter back then:
Pearson’s Candy Company of St. Paul was founded in 1909; like BSG’s parent company Rahr, it was a family-owned business with local roots. The Salted Nut Roll that craft brewers now find among sacks of malt from Crisp, Dingemans, Simpsons, Weyermann®, and more, was launched by Pearson’s in 1933 during the Great Depression. According to Pearson’s, the Salted Nut Roll was originally positioned as a “protein-packed meal replacement option,” so #brewerslunch is by no means a new concept.
“The Salted Nut Roll has always been a hard-working candy,” Pearson’s VP of Marketing Tony Neuman relates. “In fact, it’s the #1 selling SKU nationwide at Ace Hardware. Pearson’s is honored to partner with BSG to bring our candy to the brewing masses. Craft brewers know how well their products work with ours, and we’re very excited to be a part of the brewing world.”
Besides providing sustenance on brew decks and in cellars, the Salted Nut Roll has also inspired tributes in liquid form: Pallet Present from Denver’s Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery and the Salted Nut Roll Cream Ale from St. Paul’s Tin Whiskers Brewing Co. are just a couple examples.
“I can’t even recall how many times a Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll has been lunch, especially on busy brew days,” says Mike Willaford, Head Brewer at Tin Whiskers. “BSG pallets would show up and the dash to dig out a Nut Roll was on. When we got the opportunity to partner with Pearson’s, I was so excited to brew the Salted Nut Roll Cream Ale. I loved the task of taking a Minnesota favorite and turning it into a liquid brewer’s lunch. What we were able to come up with was a beer that became an instant fan favorite and a beer I always love to share with brewers.”
Great craft beer doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work. The tradition of the Salted Nut Roll has grown alongside the craft beer movement – we’re proud to fuel brewers and their beers, one pallet at a time.
Show us how you Roll:
Insta: @BSGCraft @salted_nut_roll
#BrewersLunch #BSGCraft #SaltedNutRoll