Jesse Theis dips his hand into a vast, steaming bed of barley at the Rahr Malting plant in Shakopee and pulls out a kernel. He cracks open the flat, pea-sized husk and exposes the white, starchy flesh inside—the rudimentary component of beer. The sweet, fresh-cut-grass scent of germinating barley fills the air, as familiar to Theis as the Minnesota River Valley land his family has inhabited since 1846. Theis peers down at the kernel of grain and smiles. For 27 years, he has tended barley in the service of beer, producing malt for Anheuser-Busch, Miller, Summit, and Schell. Now, he will corral its energy to warm and light homes, power the malting facility, and, albeit indirectly, help clean up the... More >>>